It is a Constitutional right having the freedom of speech and having the right not to talk if you so choose not to. Payment Bail Bonds strongly suggest that every person being question by a government official have an attorney present if possible; however, if you are not able to have an attorney present, our referred attorneys have discussed the questions below to prevent yourself from incriminating your situation. Remember that any information you discuss can and, most of the time, will be used against you.
Q: I was driving and pulled over because “I looked suspicious.” How can an officer determine if they can pull me over?
A: First, remember, an officer can pull you over for any reason AS LONG AS THERE IS PROBABLE CAUSE. Most people make a major mistake and become combative. You should never become combative with an officer because they are still doing their job and, quite frankly, they are being told what to do by dispatch or their superior. Secondly, you have rights. One of your rights is that you do not have to talk or discuss anything with the officer. If you feel that you do not want to talk, simply say, “I do not feel comfortable to discuss this matter without my attorney.”
Many times, it does seem to incriminate yourself; however, the officer knows you have a right to the freedom of speech. If you do not feel comfortable in speaking to the officer then you don’t have to. It is highly suggested to NEVER run from an officer or try to touch an officer.
If you have a voice recorder or video camera, it is your right to record for your safety. It is your property and you have the right to protect your property and yourself. It is highly suggested to always use some recording feature during a traffic stop.
Q: I was not arrested, but the officer said I was being detained. Is that the same?
A: If you are detained, you are not arrested. When you are arrested or the officer wants to press charges against you, the officers have to disclose your Miranda Rights, if not the evidence can be suppressed in court and there is not a proper defense for the State of Missouri. Missouri law gives the officers the right to hold you up to 24 hours to prepare their documents to the Court. However, if you are released, it doesn’t mean that you will not be charged with the crime. The officer can get a warrant and then you will be arrested at a later time while pending application for a warrant, so when you are arrested on the charges the officers will give you your Miranda Rights. Be careful to understand the difference of a detainment and arrest.
Q: Do the officers have the right to search me or my property?
A: An officer has the right to remove you from your vehicle and to protect their selves by doing a basic pat down to make sure no weapons are on you. If they do make an attempt to search further, you must consent to the search or they have to get a search warrant. In the event that you do not consent to the search, you must clearly state, “I do not consent to the search.” If they search anyways, do not try to stop them. If you are arrested for the illegal search contact your attorney.
Q: What do I do when I am first pulled over?
Immediately pull over, do not make it seem like you are attempting to flee from the officer. Remove your hands from the vehicle and keep them so the officer can see your hands. When the officer feels comfortable they will usually explain that you can keep your hands in the car. It is mandatory to show your drivers license, registration, and proof of insurance. An officer can ask you to step outside the car, and they may separate passengers and drivers from each other to question them and compare their answers – but no one has to answer any questions.
Q: If I am arrested what do I do?
A: The officer will state your Miranda Rights and you have the right to remain silent. It is suggested to do so because many times a report will not state all facts exactly as you have stated. You will request an attorney before any interview by the officers. Missouri law allows you to have 1 free phone call to a local bail bond agent – make your call to Payment Bail Bonds at 636-797-8222 or the agent that you work with. Many times you will be booked and released pending application of warrant.
Q: What is a Pending Application of Warrant or Book and Release?
A: Pending Application of Warrant (PAW) or Book and Release are the same thing essentially. When you are first charged with a crime, to prevent over population and allow the officers the allotted time to prepare necessary documentation to the Court, you would be booked in and then released. However, if you are released, it doesn’t mean that you are not being charged for the crime. So, it would be wise to start the process of contacting Payment Bail Bonds and your attorney or our attorney to get the ball rolling.