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690 Flatbush Avenue West Hartford, CT  06110-1308

860 236-9350             800 856-6400  toll free     860 523-9101  fax

27 Holmes Avenue Downtown Waterbury 203 756-6100




What To Do If You Are Stopped or Arrested

Hartford Criminal Defense, Waterbury Criminal Attorney, CT DUI Attorney, Drunk Driving


At Home

In The Car


"A Few Questions"

bulletStay calm.  Do not argue, yell, curse or threaten the police.
bulletKeep your hands visible and do not make sudden movements.  Police officers are trained to be aware that any person stopped can suddenly become violent.  Do not put yourself in danger by hiding your hands or making any sudden movements.
bulletDo not run.  Running away or trying to avoid a police officer may be used in criminal court as evidence of guilt.
bulletGive your name, address and date of birth.  According to a recent Connecticut Appellate Court case, State v. Aloi, 86 Conn. App. 363, 861 A.2d 1180 (2004), you cannot be convicted of the crime of interfering with a police officer for refusing to identify yourself.  However, if you refuse, you most likely will make the officer suspicious and annoyed and he or she may arrest you even if the arrest is unjustified.  If you are driving a car, then Connecticut law requires you to give your name, address, license, registration, insurance card and the name and address of the owner of the car.
bulletDo not say anything else.  You are not required to say anything else to a police officer.  Anything you say to a police officer may be used in criminal court to try and prove that you committed a crime.  Be aware that you may be getting videotaped or tape recorded during a stop even if you do not see a recorder.
bulletDo not give permission to have anything searched.  If you give the police permission to search your clothes, purse, backpack, car, home, office, computer, or anything else, then anything found can be entered into evidence.  If you do not give permission to search, the police may decide to search anyway, but what they find may be kept out of evidence if the search was unconstitutional or illegal.
bulletAsk for a lawyer.  You have a constitutional right to a lawyer if you are in police custody.  You are "in custody" if you are not free to leave.  If you are unsure whether you can leave, you can ask the police officer if you can leave.
bulletDo not allow the police inside.  The police cannot enter your home unless they have a warrant or there is an emergency.  If the police say they have a warrant, ask to see it.
bulletDo not step outside your home.  You have certain constitutional rights when you are inside your home.  You lose those rights by stepping outside your home.
bulletDo not allow your home to be searched.  The police cannot search your home without a search warrant.  If they have a warrant, ask to see it, and do not give the police permission to conduct a search wider than that allowed by the warrant.  If you give the police permission to search, anything they find can be entered into evidence.
bulletProvide identification.  A driver of a car has to give the police his or her name, address, license, registration, insurance card and  the name and address of the owner of the car.
bulletStay inside the car unless ordered to come out.  Keep your hands visible.  Do not make any sudden movements.  Do not try to move the car.
bulletDo not give permission to search the car.  The police can look inside the passenger compartment of your car and take as evidence anything that is in plain view, even if they need to use a flashlight to see inside.  If you give the police permission to search the trunk or other parts of the car, anything they find can be entered into evidence.
bulletBe aware that the police may search the passenger compartment during an investigative stop.  The police can stop a car if they reasonably suspect that a traffic infraction occurred or that the occupants are involved in a crime.  After stopping the car, the police can search the passenger compartment of the car, including any bags or other containers inside the passenger compartment.
bulletDo not resist the arrest.  Resisting arrest is a separate crime even if you are innocent of what you are being arrested for.  If the police decide to arrest you, they will use whatever force necessary to handcuff you and place you inside a cruiser.  Do not endanger yourself by refusing to cooperate with the arrest.
bulletDo not say anything.  If the police have decided to arrest you, nothing you say will change their mind.  Be aware that you may be getting video or tape recorded.  Any statements you make, whether recorded or not, may be used to try and prove that you committed a crime.
bulletAsk a family member or friend to contact a criminal defense lawyer.  After you are booked and fingerprinted, ask to telephone a family member or a friend and ask that person to contact a criminal law attorney for you.  Do not talk about the arrest or the case on the telephone.  Your telephone call is probably being recorded.  Do not tell your friend or family member anything else other than the police station where you are being held.  Your criminal defense lawyer can contact the police station for other information, including the charges against you and the amount of bail.

Do not go.  Even if you know you are innocent of any crime, do not go by yourself to a police station and answer questions or make statements.  You may be the subject of an investigation.  Any statements you make may be used against you.  If someone has made false accusations against you, statements you make which you think are harmless may hurt you if your statements seem to agree with parts of the false accusations.


Call an experienced criminal defense lawyer immediately.  A criminal defense lawyer can advise you as to whether you should answer any questions.  If the lawyer advises you to answer questions, the lawyer can go with you and advise you during the questioning.


Be aware that you may be followed by the police.  You may be the subject of an investigation if the police want to ask you questions.  Be aware that if you under investigation, the police may be following you.  Do not associate with people who carry drugs or weapons or who are committing crimes.

When You Need a Connecticut Criminal Defense Lawyer,

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Please note that our law firm's website is designed to provide only general legal information.

This information is not intended to be legal advice for your individual situation.

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