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    Watch for Tips on Dealing with Police on the Street

    Last updated 2 years ago

    If you are stopped or detained by the police while on the street, it is important to behave yourself in a calm and controlled manner. Your attitude can have a lot to do with what happens during your stop, so be respectful and say as little as possible. Watch this short video for more tips on how to deal with police on the street.

    Perhaps the most important thing to remember if you are stopped by police is to never talk back or raise your voice to an officer. Any escalation of the event can worsen the final outcome, and it’s best to not give the officers any reason to question your motives. You may verbally state your refusal to be searched, but never touch a police officer.

    At the Law Offices of Patrick Geckle, we know that no one is above the law. If you think you may have been the victim of police misconduct, call us at (267) 234-7708 for a free consultation.

    4 Things to Know About Your Search and Seizure Rights

    Last updated 2 years ago

    The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution protects American citizens against illegal search and seizure. Law enforcement officers are not required to inform you of your rights regarding search and seizure, so it is important to know your rights should you ever encounter police misconduct. Search and seizure is a complicated issue, so read on to learn more about your rights and how an attorney may be able to help you.

    What is a search warrant? If the police conduct a search and seizure without a search warrant, it may fall under the category of unreasonable search and seizure. A search warrant is issued by a judge to allow law enforcement officers to search a specific location and take custody of certain items. Before the police can obtain a search warrant, they must show probable cause to believe that a crime was committed.

    Where can police look and what can they take from me? Every search warrant is different and will specify what items can be seized from you. There are exceptions, however. If there are items that police believe are connected to the commission of a crime in plain view during the search, police may seize them.

    Do the police need to have a search warrant to conduct a search? Law enforcement officers do not necessarily have to have a search warrant to conduct a search. If you voluntarily give consent to the police, they may conduct a search without a warrant. Additionally, if the police believe that evidence may be destroyed or that individuals could be harmed in the time it would take to get a warrant, they may conduct a search without a warrant.

    Can the police search my car? The police may search your car without a warrant if they believe there to be illegal activity associated with it. If a person is arrested in or near a vehicle, the police have the right to search inside of the car for any additional illegal substances or items.

    To fully understand your search and seizure rights, or if you believe you have been the victim of police misconduct, call the Philadelphia-based Law Offices of Patrick Geckle at (267) 234-7708. Our civil rights attorneys seek justice for people who have been mistreated by law enforcement, so contact us today for a free consultation.

    Check Out These Helpful Resources for More Information on Police Misconduct

    Last updated 2 years ago

    Readers who enjoyed our recent look at communication with police and law enforcement brutality might like the following links about these interesting topics:

    • Police have a vast amount of discretion when choosing to use deadly force. Read a report about the topic by Thomas Frazier.
    • The University of Albany estimated that over 13,000,000 Americans are arrested across the country every year. Are you part of that number?
    • Most police-citizen interactions take place in the course of community caretaking. Click through to Police Chief Magazine to learn about this policy.
    • If police have reasonable suspicion that you may be armed, they have the right to stop and frisk you. The Department of Homeland Security website explains the legal issues involved in these stops.
    • The American Civil Liberties Union published a lengthy guide on how to prevent police brutality in your community.

    If you have suffered injuries as a result of police overstepping their boundaries as law enforcement officials, contact a local attorney. Philadelphians in need of legal representation should get in touch with the Law Office of Patrick Geckle by calling (267) 234-7708.  Our skilled staff can help you bring a case against the police department and receive damages.

    Avoid the Risk of Police Brutality: Top Tips for Communicating Effectively with a Police Officer

    Last updated 2 years ago

    Police arrest thousands of individuals without warrants every month. Yet many of these arrests and subsequent instances of police brutality can be prevented through effective communication. If law enforcement personnel stop you while you are going about your daily business, here are some tips for speaking effectively with them and avoiding brutality:

    Answer Questions with Respect
    When police officers are walking around a neighborhood, they are most commonly engaging in community caretaking. If a uniformed officer asks you a question, answer it in a courteous and respectful manner. You may feel put upon or offended that you were singled out and asked – but quickly responding to a police question is more effective than evading questioning. Even if you have something to hide, evading police questioning in the street is an easy way to create the reasonable suspicion necessary to undergo a stop and frisk.

    Comply With all Instructions
    Another tip for effectively communicating with a police officer is to follow his or her instructions. Even if you disagree with what you are commanded to do, appeasing an officer is easier than publicly challenging their instructions. Police can charge you with a city or state citation for insubordination if you do not comply with their orders.

    Remain Aware of Your Rights
    Speaking with police does not affect your Constitutional rights. You still have the right to remain silent and the right to deny law enforcement the right to search your car without a warrant. Whenever possible, make clear, calm, unambiguous statements if asserting your rights in the face of police questioning.

    If police overstepped their boundaries and violated your civil rights, you likely have a legal claim against the police department. Philadelphia residents who were victims of police brutality should contact the Law Office of Patrick Geckle to learn about building a case against a state or city police office. Call our office today at (267) 234-7708 for a free case evaluation.

    What Is the Best Way to Interact With a Police Officer when Pulled Over?

    Last updated 2 years ago

    Traffic stops are standard on U.S. streets. This video explains what to do if you are pulled over by a police officer. First, remain in the vehicle unless you are instructed to exit. No matter what the reason for your arrest, do not pull over and jump out to your car to try to explain yourself to the police. The officer will come by your car and ask you questions in due time.

    Similarly, if you are asked to step out of the car, comply with the instructions. Police do not need legal justification to ask you or your passengers to step out of your vehicle. Watch this video to learn more.

    The skilled staff at the Law Office of Patrick Geckle has helped many Philadelphia residents file claims if they experience police brutality. If law enforcement has encroached upon your constitutional rights, call us at (267) 234-7708. We can help you obtain compensation and stand up for your rights in court.

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