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Your actions and statements when police stop you can have severe consequences. Your criminal defense in Georgia begins with what you do during a police confrontation.

Anything that you say to police may be important because it can be used to arrest you and against you in a prosecution. Stay calm and polite and do not lie or give incorrect information.

When police stop you for questioning, remain calm and keep your hands visible. If you choose to stay quiet, tell the police.

You do not have to answer questions about your name, age or address but you should only provide this basic information. Suspects do not have to show identification unless they are driving a vehicle or if there is probable cause to believe they violated the law.

You may ask the police if you are free to leave. If the police allow it, calmly and quietly walk away. If you cannot leave, ask for the reason. You may ask for the grounds if the police say you are under arrest.

Police can frisk a person by patting the outside of their clothing. If they search more, tell them you do not consent to the search but do not resist.

When police stop you while you are driving, park the car in a safe place and turn off the ignition, turn on the internal light, partially open the window and keep your hands on the steering wheel. Drivers should, if requested, show their license, registration and proof of insurance.

Drivers can refuse a request to search the inside of their car, but police may conduct a search if they suspect it contains evidence of a crime. Drivers and passengers have the right to stay quiet. Passengers may ask if they can leave.

Police may ask drivers to get outside of their car. They can separate passengers and drivers to question them and compare their answers. But all vehicle occupants may remain silent.

Drivers should sign any ticket or face arrest. Refusing a test while being suspected for driving under the influence can lead to license suspension.

Do not resist arrest. Remain quiet and ask for a lawyer. You have the right to make a local phone call.

An attorney should accompany you when you speak to police. They can help protect your rights and defend you against criminal charges.