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Can You Get Arrested for Insulting an NY Police Officer?

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Can You Get Arrested for Insulting an NY Police Officer?

Sooner or later most of us have some sort of interaction with the police. Knowing how to deal with them is a vital life skill. 

Some interactions with the police run hot. They are stressful, and losing your temper might feel natural.

The good news? Your First Amendment Rights protect your freedom of speech here. You can yell at a police officer without going to jail for it. In the 1987 case City of Houston v. Hill the Supreme Court ruled that the First Amendment “protects a significant amount of verbal criticism and challenge directed at police officers.” 

None of this makes arguing with the police, or yelling at them, into anything like a good idea.

Here’s the truth: interactions with the police can turn deadly. Police officers aren’t always as well-trained or as even-tempered as we might like. They can also trump up charges and find a reason to arrest you.

Sure, that arrest might not lead to a conviction, but even the arrest itself can do significant damage to your finances, your employment, and your housing situation. If you are married it can do significant damage to your marriage. An arrest can also do significant damage to your reputation, as most people believe that police officers only arrest the guilty. 

If the arrest turns violent the injuries you receive may impact your quality of life for years to come. 

We recommend the following when dealing with police officers.

Be calm and polite.

The best thing you can do when dealing with a police officer is to remain calm, polite, and as cooperative as you can be without incriminating yourself or giving them the grounds to arrest you.

Avoid volunteering information.

You really have no way of knowing what might incriminate you for some other crime that happened in the area. Even if all you are facing is a ticket, seemingly harmless or innocuous statements can help police officers build a case against you. 

Do not resist the process, but know and invokc your rights.

If a police officer has decided to arrest you or write you a ticket there’s usually very little you can do about it. Nothing you say is going to change matters.

If the police start asking questions, politely invoke your fifth amendment rights and say you want to talk to an attorney. If they want to search your vehicle or your home or your person, refuse unless they have a warrant. Don’t offer any more information. If they arrest you, don’t resist. You’ll just create more charges. 

Call our criminal law office for help.

If your interaction with the police turns sour you are going to need help. Contact our law office today to get the help you need. 

See also:

What to Do If You Get Pulled Over in New York

What to Do If There’s a Warrant for Your Arrest in New York

Do You Know How to Exercise Your 5th Amendment Rights?

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