Miami Law

Miami law
In Miami many people ask me about drinking laws on the streets.

You can not drink alcohol or have an open container on the streets in Miami, specially on the beach, it is against the law.
You could be arrested if you are caught.

Some people get away with it if they say they are tourists and they did not know the law.
Do not test your luck it is not worth it.
I see a lot of people every single day in Miami Beach being arrested for that.
Specially the homeless, they spend a few days on the streets and a few days in jail because of that.
Miami Law
What to do if you are stopped by the police
Think carefully about your words, body language, movement and emotions.
Do not get into an argument with the police.
Anything you say or do can be used against you.
Keep your hands where the police can see them.
Do not touch any police officer.
Do not run. Do not resist even if you think you are innocent.
Do not complain on the scene or tell the police they are wrong or that you are going to file a complaint.
Do not make any statements regarding the incident.
Ask for a lawyer immediately upon your arrest.
Remember officers' badge and patrol car numbers.
Write down everything you remember as soon as possible.
Try to find witnesses and their names and phone numbers.
If you are injured seek medical attention and then take pictures of the injuries.
Miami Law
If you think your rights have been violated, file a written complaint with police department's internal affairs division or civilian complaint board, or call the hotline 1-877-634-5454.
If you have a police encounter, you can protect yourself with the right information.
What you say can be used against you, and it can give the police an excuse to arrest you, especially if you badmouth a police officer.
You must show your driver's license and registration when stopped in a car.
You do not have to answer any question if you are detained or arrested, with one exception, the police may ask for your name.
If you reasonably fear that your name is incriminating, you can claim the right to remain silent.
You do not have to consent to any search of yourself, your car or your house.
If you do consent to a search, it can affect your rights later in court.
If the police say they have a search warrant, ask to see it.
Do not interfere with, or obstruct the police, you could be arrested for that.

Miami Law
If you are stopped for questioning
It is not a crime to refuse to answer questions, but refusing to answer might make the police suspicious about you.
Police may "pat-down" your clothing if they suspect a concealed weapon.
Do not physically resist, but make it clear that you do not consent to any further search.
Ask if you are under arrest, if you are you have the right to know why.
Do not bad-mouth the police officer or run away, even if you believe what is happening is unreasonable.
That could lead to your arrest

Miami Law
If you are stopped in your car
Upon request, show them your driver's license, registration, and insurance card.
In certain cases, your car can be searched without a warrant as long as the police has probable cause.
To protect yourself later, you should make it clear that you do not consent to a search.
It is not lawful for police to arrest you simply for refusing to consent to a search.
If you are given a ticket, you should sign it; otherwise you can be arrested.
You can always fight the case in court later.
If you are suspected of drunk driving and refuse to take a blood, urine or breath test, your driver's license may be suspended.

Miami Law
If you are arrested or taken to a police station
You have the right to remain silent and to talk to a lawyer before you talk to the police.
Tell the police nothing except your name and address.
Do not give any explanations, excuses or stories.
You can make your defense later, in court, based on what you and your lawyer decide is best.
Ask to see a lawyer immediately.
If you can't pay for a lawyer, you have a right for a free one, and you should ask the police how the lawyer can be contacted.
Do not say anything without a lawyer.
Within a reasonable time after your arrest, or booking, you have the right to make a local phone call: to a lawyer, bail bondsman, a relative or any other person.
The police may not listen to the call to the lawyer.
Sometimes you can be released without bail, or have bail lowered.
Have your lawyer ask the judge about this possibility.
You must be taken before the judge on the next court day after arrest.
Do not make any decisions in your case until you have talked with a lawyer.

Miami Law
In your home
If the police knock and ask to enter your home, you do not have to admit them unless they have a warrant signed by a judge.
However, in some emergency situations officers are allowed to enter and search your home without a warrant.
If you are arrested, the police can search you and the area close by, that means the room you are in.

Everyone has the right to courteous and respectful police treatment.
If your rights are violated, do not try to deal with the situation on the scene.
You can talk to a lawyer afterwards, or file a complaint with the Internal Affairs or Civilian Complaint Board.

Arrest the racism. Tell us about your race or ethnic based traffic or pedestrian stop. Call 1-877-634-5454 or go to


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