YOUR RIGHTS IF CONFRONTED BY THE POLICE

The 5th Amendment to the United States Constitution (and the Alaska counterpart) provides every Alaskan with the right to remain silent when being questioned by police. Our schools and colleges teach us we have that right, but not how to exercise it. The time to exercise it is when you are confronted by a police officer anywhere.

Remember, the police are not social workers, nor are they necessarily interested in "truth" or "justice". Often, they simply want to close a case by making an arrest. You may be that person arrested.

Never lie, or make up a "story" when confronted by the police. Simply exercise your right to remain silent. Always ask to call a lawyer or relative immediately upon being taken into custody. For most criminal charges you will be released after a short while by posting a reasonable bail amount, or buying a bail bond.

Upon release from jail seek a lawyer's advice. Remember, anything you tell a lawyer about the pending criminal charge is confidential and the lawyer can't be called to testify. But, friends, relatives, physicians, counselors and even spouses or sweethearts can be subpoenaed to testify in certain circumstances and cases.

For some criminal charges the accused person isn't immediately released due to higher bail amount requirements or the requirement of a "third party custodian", who is, in effect, an adult baby sitter - some person, or persons, who stay with the accused person 24 hours, 7 days per week until the charge is dispositioned. A lawyer can often assist by helping get a proposed third party custodian approved, or some alternative condition of release approved.

Remember, if you're in jail, with a job, spouse, kids and bills to pay, it's important to get out of jail as soon as legally possible. The lawyers at the Law Office of Dan Allan & Associates realize this and do their utmost to free their clients at the earliest legal opportunity.


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