It isn’t uncommon for teenagers to come in contact with police officers in Hamilton County, FL as their duty is to not only interact with the community but also ensure no crime is being committed. This contact can be made during a traffic stop if the teen is at an age where they are permitted to drive, while they are out at a public place with friends, or even at school as every campus has a school resource officer assigned to it. While most encounters with officers are harmless and either result in a warning or ticket being issued, it is important that your teen understands how they should conduct themselves when dealing with police as their encounter could turn into something much more serious.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) shares some tips on what teens should do in various situations where they come in contact with a police officer. Below we highlight for you what these tips are and even explain what forms of legal action you can take on behalf of your teen if their rights are ever violated by a Hamilton County, FL police officer.
If your teen is ever stopped or questioned by an officer, they should:
- Keep calm. Getting upset could only escalate the situation into a violent or deadly encounter and that is not something any parent ever wants to happen.
- Refrain from arguing, running away, or interfering with the officer. There are plenty of times when an officer is wrong for stopping or questioning a teen, however, it is not advisable for them at that moment to refute what the officer is saying or disobey their commands. They should also not admit to a crime they know they haven’t committed.
- Understand their rights. Your teen should be familiar with what their rights are so that if they wish to exercise them, they do so without causing a conflict to arise. Some rights your teen has which should be reiterated to them include:
- They have the right to ask if they are free to go. If the officer doesn’t have any evidence that they are engaging in any illegal behavior, they should allow them to leave.
- They have the right to remain silent. Your teen, just like any other citizen, can respond to a question with “I want to remain silent,” says the ACLU.
If your teen is ever approached by their school resource officer, remind them that:
- The officer is never permitted to harass or bully them.
- If the officer makes inappropriate comments regarding their race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation, it shouldn’t be addressed at that moment but when they get home from school.
- If an officer uses excessive force toward your teen, which would be anything that qualifies as more force than necessary, they shouldn’t fight back, rather, they should inform you of the incident so that you can file a complaint with the police department in which they work for and even the school.
What else can I do if my teen’s rights were violated by a police officer in Hamilton County, FL?
If your teen was harassed, bullied, or mistreated in any way by a Hamilton County, FL police officer, you are encouraged to contact a police brutality lawyer located in Hamilton County, FL who can help you understand what forms of action you are permitted to take. While some parents choose to take civil action against the officer which may help them recover compensation for their teen’s pain and suffering, others are looking to obtain justice by demanding that criminal charges be filed against the officer.
But, before it can be determined which course of action is best to take, you will need to have a police misconduct attorney assess the details of the matter. Therefore, if you would like to be connected with an attorney in your area who can help you address this matter and see to it that the officer is held accountable for their behavior, contact USAttorneys.com today.