Wednesday, August 19, 2009

CRIMINAL: Riding Your Bicycle and Other Arrestable Offences

Crimes in the United States are generally classified as misdemeanors, gross misdemeanors, and felonies. Misdemeanors generally are crimes that are not very serious such as speeding. Gross misdemeanors are crimes that we consider more dangerous or more serious, and felonies are the crimes that generally involve evil intent and victims.

The Supreme Court of the United States has held that police officers may arrest any person if there is probable cause of a crime. It is within the cops' discretion to arrest you if you were speeding in your car, throwing a cigarette on the ground, loitering, and riding your bicycle without using proper hand signals. The probable cause comes from the officer witnessing you committing the crime.

Some cops will arrest you and justify the arrest in the police report by claiming you were belligerent and they did not believe you would sign the citation in which you promise that you will show up in court. This could be a lie on the part of the officer, but without video footage of the arrest, it is your word against the police.

Law-abiding citizens are often arrested on minor offenses because they are shocked by the attitude they are given by police who stop them. Surprised at being stopped and at the condescension of the officer, the misdemeanant will say something to the effect of "I know my rights."

If you argue with the cop or offer an excuse for you behavior, you could be doing yourself a grave disservice. I can tell you of a cop who stopped this fellow for speeding. The fellow said that he had not seen the speed limit sign, hoping the cop would understand and let him go with a warning. Instead, the cop wrote him the citation for speeding and added another citation for inattentive driving.

Cops do not like to hear any lip and can arrest you. Cops do not care that you already feel humiliated that you are being charged with a crime when you believed you were adhering to the law. They do not care that you are a law-abiding taxpayer and you pay for their salary.

Some of the slickest criminals are ex-felons. They understand the cop psychology and act with the utmost respect toward the officer, saying "Yes sir" and "No sir" and "thank you for informing sir". Even though these ex-felons probably do not pay much by way of taxes and are not responsible for contributing to police salaries, police treat them much nicer sometimes.

If you act like the boot-kissing sycophant with a cop, the Cop may think you are a convicted criminal, however generally the cop will treat you better than if you act like a law-abiding citizen who knows his rights.


Be calm, courteous, and quiet with police officers when stopped. If they harass you, keep your cool or you will fuel their adrenaline and make them more apt to treat you worse.

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