If you have had a contact with police which resulted in an arrest for resisting or interfering with the police, see the page Police Resistance


You could be contacted by the police for various reasons – a casual encounter in a public place, a routine traffic stop or you could be a suspect in a criminal investigation. Whatever the reason or circumstances, you should always maintain a polite and respectful tone when contacted by the police or any other law enforcement official. However, be aware that you have Constitutional Rights and firmly assert those rights.

You Have The Right Not To Speak With The Police

If the police request your identification, you should provide it. Tell them your name and show them your identification.  However, you are not required to talk to law enforcement officers. You are not required to answer their questions.Do not talk or answer questions. Politely say that you would like an attorney to be present.

You Have The Right To An Attorney

If you are accused of a crime and arrested, you have the right to an attorney. Also, even before an arrest, you have the right to consult with an attorney and you would be wise to do so. Do not talk to the police or answer their questions. Politely tell them you would first like to speak with an attorney.

You Have The Right To Be Free From Unreasonable Searches

You have the right to be free from unreasonable searches of your personal space. This includes your home, your car and your person. If law enforcement has reasonable cause to believe they can obtain evidence in your personal space, they can ask a judge to issue a search warrant. There are some exceptions to this rule that allow a police search but you should never consent to any search of your personal space without first consulting an attorney. If a law enforcement official requests your permission to search your person, your home, your vehicle, or any other personal space, politely refuse and ask to speak with your attorney.

Do Not Give False Information To Law Enforcement

As noted above, you have a right not to speak to law enforcement officials. However, it is equally important to understand that you can not lie to them, mislead them or do anything to obstruct their investigation.  Lying to law enforcement officials, or inducing other persons to do so, is a crime.  Even if you are involved in no other criminal activity, you can be convicted of a crime for lying to law enforcement officials or asking others to lie for you.

Protect Your Rights

You need to protect yourself. If you are suspected of involvement in criminal activity, the best thing you can do is to contact a criminal defense attorney. Your attorney can advise you, protect your rights and help you obtain fair treatment.


If you are suspected of a crime and need effective legal representation, Call Roanoke Criminal Defense Attorney Wayne Bibee.

Call Direct for a Free Consultation: (540) 769-3288 or (540) 682-8828 (fax) or send an email using the Contact Form on this page.