Campus police can be intimidating, especially if you’re not used to dealing with law enforcement. However, it is important to know your rights and how to handle yourself around these officials. After all, not all can be trusted. In this blog post, we will discuss the top 7 tips for dealing with campus police. Follow them, and you’ll be able to stay safe and protect your rights!
1. Always be respectful and polite when interacting with campus police.
It’s important to be respectful in your interactions with law enforcement officers for a variety of reasons. First, remember that these are people doing an important job. They are working to keep our communities safe, and the position itself deserves our appreciation.
Second, being respectful will help to ensure that the interaction goes smoothly. Officers are more likely to treat you respectfully if you treat them respectfully. Finally, if you act disrespectfully towards an officer, it sends the message that it’s okay to do so.
This can lead to more confrontational interactions between officers and the public, in general. We all need to do our part to lower the temperature between the public and law enforcement, especially with all the horror stories we’re seeing nationally. The more people committed to de-escalation, the better (and you can’t count on the Officer to be the one who does the right thing).
2. Be aware of your rights, and remember that you don’t have to answer any questions if you don’t want to.
Campus police are held to the same standards of other law enforcement officials. They’re required to read you your Miranda rights if they arrest you. But even if they don’t, you have the right to remain silent.
Any efforts at trying to question you should be met with a simple question: am I being detained or am I free to go? If they say you’re free to go, do so calmly and without doing anything to further escalate the situation.
If they say you’re not free to go, calmly inquire as to the reason. Roll with what the Officer tells you, but don’t forget your right to remain silent.
3. Don’t resist arrest or try to run away if you’re being detained.
Officers can add a variety of charges to your tally if you fail to heed this warning. From obstructing government operations to resisting arrest to fleeing. Each charge adds to the potential repercussions of your sentence.
4. Cooperate but don’t give them any information that can be used against you.
The moment that you start to get worried you might be in danger of incriminating yourself, ask to speak to your attorney. This automatically shuts down any further questioning the Officer may have for you because anything they’re able to obtain from you after you’ve invoked your rights is coercion and inadmissible.
5. If you’re being searched, don’t try to stop the Officer from doing so. Instead, remain calm and ask if you can see the warrant.
All Officers require warrants before they can conduct a search unless they have reasonable cause or verification that a crime has been committed. Their insisting on a search under any other pretense is a violation of your rights.
If an officer doesn’t have a warrant and you haven’t given them permission to search, they can still pat you down for weapons if they have reasonable cause to believe that you’re carrying one. If this happens, don’t try to stop them or run away as it’ll just escalate the situation. And with escalation, particularly among campus police who don’t wear body cameras, circumstances are not on your side.
6. If you are given a ticket, sign it.
It’s not an admission of guilt. It’s simply a promise to appear in court. Once an officer has made up their mind to ticket you, any further objection just increases the possibility of the situation intensifying into a possible arrest. The court is your best option at this point, so go along with the signing but contact an attorney at once if you plan to fight it.
7. Finally, always stay calm and collected throughout the entire process.
Again, you can’t be guaranteed that the Officer will. And considering that they are armed and have inherent authority in their positions, any effort to dunk on them will only increase the odds of getting yourself into legitimate trouble.
If you feel that your rights were violated by campus police, don’t hesitate to contact attorney John Teakell. He is a skilled and experienced lawyer who will fight for your rights and make sure you get the justice you deserve. Contact him today for a free consultation, and he’ll be happy to answer any of your questions.