Your rights depend on the nature, reason and circumstances of the contact
When you are stopped by the police, the rights that you have depend on the nature, reason and circumstances of the contact. The types of contact are discussed in case law and described in state law. Constitutional rights do not kick in unless a personís freedom to move or leave has been shut down. This situation is described as a seizure. This does not mean that a person has been arrested or taken into custody with handcuffs. In order to have a legal arrest, there must be probable cause that a crime has been committed and the person in custody committed the crime.
A consensual encounter occurs when a police officer contacts a person with no restraint on movement. There can be non-coercive questioning and voluntary cooperation. This contact remains a consensual encounter so long as a reasonable person under the circumstances believes that he/she is free to walk away and/or ignore the officer's questions.
When the contact presents circumstances that are so intimidating that a reasonable person would believe he is not free to leave if he does not respond, the encounter becomes a seizure under the law. What makes the encounter a seizure? The attorney must ask the following questions: was there a display of authority with sirens or flashing lights? How many officers were present? Were the officers threatening? Were guns unholstered? Did the officers demand answers? Did the police prevent walking away? How long did the contact last and did the police keep identification? If you are seized by the police, your constitutional rights become available to protect you against illegally seized evidence or statements.
I will work with you to determine whether your rights were violated and whether the police acted without legal authority in taking evidence and asking you questions. You must know your rights before you can use them to protect yourself. Call me as soon as possible after your arrest.
You have the right to remain silent. Use it.
Don't delay, call me immediately (970-871-7400).
For any case in Steamboat Springs, Craig, or Hot Sulphur Springs, call me immediately (970-871-7400).
"Over the last fourteen years, I have tried more jury trials than any practicing attorney in the 14th Judicial District (Routt County, Moffat County, and Grand County Colorado including Steamboat Springs, Craig, and Hot Sulphur Springs) with consistent success."
-- Larry D. Combs