Hayward, CA asked in Civil Rights and Constitutional Law for California

Q: Can a police officer use violent force to detain you even after you have asked for a attorney to be present?

Can a police officer pull you out of your vehicle by force, put you in hand cuffs and arrest you even after you have asked for a lawyer to be present

3 Lawyer Answers
Brian Lehman
Brian Lehman
Answered

A: The answer is likely yes. You have the right to a lawyer and you have the right not to speak. In fact, if the government uses any statements after you asked for a lawyer against you, or derived evidence from it, you should ask your lawyer for a motion to suppress the evidence. But, if there was probable cause you committed a crime, the officer had the right to arrest you by force.

Ali Shahrestani, Esq.
Ali Shahrestani, Esq.
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Brooklyn, NY
  • Licensed in California

A: That may well be an example of unreasonable and excessive use of force, but it depends on the circumstances. Did you pose a threat of any kind? Did the officer have a valid reason to search and seize you, or to pull you over? More details are necessary to provide a professional analysis of your issue. The best first step is an Initial Consultation with an Attorney. You can read more about me, my credentials, awards, honors, testimonials, and media appearances/ publications on my law practice website. I practice law in CA, NY, MA, and DC in the following areas of law: Business & Contracts, Criminal Defense, Divorce & Child Custody, and Education Law. This answer does not constitute legal advice; make any predictions, guarantees, or warranties; or create any Attorney-Client relationship.

Louis George Fazzi
Louis George Fazzi
Answered
  • Civil Rights Lawyer
  • Jess Ranch, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: You have left out a lot of information necessary to properly answer this question, such as 1) why were you pulled over; 2) what were you doing prior to being pulled over; 3) what was the conversation you had with the officer after you were pulled over; 4) why were you asking for a lawyer while you were still in your car, etc.

Typically, if you are pulled over while operating a vehicle the officer has some reason for doing so. In carrying out his duties as an officer, the officer must be allowed to ask the driver questions appropriate to the situation, and as a licensed driver, the operator is required to give honest answers to the officer. The right to an attorney does not attach until a person has been charged with an offense which threatens the loss of liberty (i.e. jail time). Since most driving offenses are merely infractions, the right to counsel may not attach, because the operator of a motor vehicle is not threatened with loss of their liberty as a result of the infraction.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.