Police tend to be present on Virginia college campuses to help enforce the public safety of students and staff members. If you’re stopped by a police officer for questioning, you’ll want to know about your rights.
You can remain silent
The rights you have while being questioned at school are the same rights that you have outside of school. You can choose to remain silent when an officer asks you questions. A simple way to respond is to say, “I choose to remain silent.” This helps to address the officer in a respectful manner while still enacting your right to remain silent.
As with all statements to the police, you can choose to have a criminal defense lawyer present. A legal professional may assist you in preparing your statement and be in the room with you while you talk to the police. Your lawyer may help you understand what all your rights are regarding discussing topics with the police.
The police may require identification
In some states, a police officer may be legally able to hold you until you rightfully identify yourself. Providing a form of identification may be necessary before you are authorized to leave the presence of the police officer. Once you provide identification, you should ask the officer for their information, including their badge number. Most officers will have a business card that will have all their contact information on it.
Being questioned by the police can be a nerve-wracking experience. While the police will encourage you to talk about a specific event, you don’t have to. It’s a good idea to always contact a lawyer for assistance with any police questioning to ensure that you’re acting in your best interest regarding the situation at hand.