The answer to this commonly asked question varies as it all depends on the circumstances. If an officer casually stops you while you are walking on the sidewalk, the Commonwealth of Kentucky website states that you are not required to answer any of their questions and hold the right to walk away. You can tell the officer that you do not wish to speak with him/her and may “calmly” continue walking unless the officer has ordered you to stop. However, because this could potentially lead to an officer becoming angry and upset, which is not something anyone would want to happen, you may consider asking the officer if you are free to go before you attempt to walk away without asking.
When an individual asks whether they are free to go, the answer will let them know if the officer is detaining them or if they do not need to stay around and answer any questions. Now, keep in mind that many officers will likely ignore this question the first or second time it is asked and will continue asking you probing questions to find out who you are and what you’re doing, but if you remain persistent and ask if you are free to go, they should provide you with an answer. In the event the officer says that you are not free to leave, it means they are either detaining you or plan to place you under arrest. When an officer detains an individual they encounter walking on the sidewalk or intends to arrest them, they must have probable cause to do so.
If an officer were to detain you or place you under arrest after causally stopping you while you were walking on the street, you are not required to answer any of their questions. Rather than coming off as resistant, it is best you calmly and politely tell the officer you do not wish to provide them with any answers, that is, until you have a Louisville, KY criminal defense lawyer present.
Can a Louisville, KY police officer pat me down when stopped on the street?
Yes, the officer does hold the right to pat you down outside of your clothing, says the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s website, as long as they have reasonable suspicion to believe that you are “armed or dangerous.” If the officer conducts a more thorough search, it is best not to resist as it will only cause the situation to escalate into a more serious matter that could end with you being arrested and injured.
What should I do if an officer violated my rights after stopping me on the street in Louisville, KY?
If an officer asked you harassing questions despite having any valid reason for even stopping you or conducted a more thorough search aside from a pat down, it is best to wait until you are free to go before taking any sort of action. The fact is, if a police officer wants to violate your rights, they will do so even if you acknowledge that you are aware they are being ignored. Therefore, it is best to remain calm and avoid confrontation so that you can later contact a Louisville, KY police brutality lawyer who can then help you combat the officer’s misconduct.
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