The Most Important Thing to do During Police Encounters

Posted by Corey L. Scott | May 24, 2021 | 0 Comments

What is one of the most important things to remember and do in any police encounter? 

An individual is stopped by police and is asked to produce their license and registration. The law enforcement official runs their information, returns and announces, “We have checked you out, and everything looks good. You are free to go.” The average person imagining themselves in this scenario might think it's second nature- “If I am free to go, then I would go.” Unfortunately, sometimes even after the license and registration have been returned, the officer will often ask, “Do you mind if we search your vehicle? Do you mind answering a few questions?”


It is imperative to always keep the following admonition in mind, during any and every police encounter. The advice is relatively simple, but extremely vital- the most important thing to do in any police encounter is make sure that you end or terminate said encounter as soon as possible.


While this advice might seem easy to follow, many people in these situations find themselves complying with the officer's requests. Considering their information came back okay, they may find themselves relaxed, and even put at ease by the officer. These overly cooperative individuals may proceed to answer questions that are unnecessary in the first place. Answers to questions posed by law enforcement always hold the risk for self-incrimination and may open the door to a search where something, to your surprise, is found.


As soon as you are free and cleared to leave, leave. I have heard too many accounts where an individual could have terminated a situation and went about their merry way, but instead found themselves having a casual conversation about this or that. When people engage in small talk, they become comfortable, and the next thing you know something has been said that could lead to a search. When it comes to dealing with law enforcement, it is best to not say anything. But if you do say something, say less of it.


I once heard a wise man say this, “the things that are easy to do are also easy not to do.” It is very easy to get your license and registration back and then move on with your day. Unfortunately, it is also just as easy to get your license and registration back, and subsequently be baited into small talk, or consent to a search. One of the most important things you can do in any police encounter is to end and terminate that encounter as soon as possible.


My name's Corey Scott. If I can be of any further help to you, please feel free to call me, 317-634-0101. Take great care.

About the Author

Corey L. Scott

Corey L. Scott, was born and raised in East Chicago, Indiana. Upon graduation from East Chicago Central High School, Corey attended Indiana State University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminology.  Upon graduation, Corey accepted a position with the Marion County Superior Court, Juvenile Division where he served with distinction for the next nine years, eventually being promoted to Director of the Youth Counseling Department. Pursuing his dream of becoming an attorney, Corey attended the Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis.  While in law school, Corey was an Indiana Council on Legal Education Opportunity (ICLEO) fellow and participated in Moot Court competitions.  He also worked in the Marion Superior Court, Criminal Division as a bailiff and research assistant to the Honorable Tanya Walton Pratt, who serves as a Judge on the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana. Corey also served as an internship law clerk to the Honorable Judge, Margret G. Robb, at the Indiana Court of Appeals. Finally, upon graduation from law school, Corey had the distinct honor and privilege to serve as a law clerk to the Honorable Justice, Robert D. Rucker, who sits on the Indiana Supreme Court. Corey then became an associate with Mike Norris Law Office, where he specialized in bankruptcy law with a main concentration on working to assist families obtain a fresh start through Chapter 7 bankruptcy.  Still a young attorney, Corey then served as a public defender at the Marion County Public Defender Agency.  In this position, Corey gained invaluable trial experience by defending clients in a wide range of matters from misdemeanors to serious felonies on a daily basis.  It was also during this time that Corey discovered his passion for representing and serving "everyday people." An entrepreneur at heart, Corey established the Law Office of Corey L. Scott, P.C.  Since then, he and his staff have served the greater Indianapolis community and surrounding counties in several legal disciplines including: Bankruptcy, Criminal Defense and Family Law.  In keeping with his vision, Corey L. Scott, P.C., is a client focused, results oriented general law practice that endeavors to provide legal solutions for "everyday people" charged with a crime, dealing with financial crisis or going through a difficult divorce. Corey has also been active serving the greater Indianapolis community by participating in pro bono programs such as "Ask a Lawyer," the "Modest Means" panel program which allows individuals to afford legal counsel at a fraction of normal rates, Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic and the Heartland Pro Bono Council program. Corey is a proud member of the Indianapolis Bar Association, Indiana Bar Association, American Bar Association, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys.


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