Outlining the Difference Between an Unconstitutional Interaction and a Consensual Interaction with Police

The state of Maryland and the United States have laws in place designed to protect its citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures from law enforcement.  If you follow the news, you’re probably aware that these protections are not always honored. Perhaps you’ve even witnessed an unconstitutional search or seizure firsthand. In this blog, we want to outline the difference between a consensual interaction with the police and an interaction that violates your rights.

Who Is in Control?

If you are interacting with a police officer, always keep a grasp on who is in control of the situation. If you are the one in control and can leave whenever you wish, you have no reason to fear an unconstitutional search or seizure. If a reasonable person would not feel comfortable leaving the situation, the encounter is classified a seizure.

Investigatory Stops

Investigatory stops are different than consensual encounters, because you are not free to leave the scene whenever you wish. In that situation, you are temporarily being detained. For this to take place, the officer must have a reasonable suspicion that you committed a crime or are in the process of committing a crime. If they had no reason to be suspicious of any of these things, your rights have been violated and it is absolutely within reason to respond with legal action.


Arrests are the next level of police interaction you may come across. Arrests are usually made by taking physical custody of a suspect and taking them to a jail or police station. As is the case with investigatory stops, an officer must have probable cause in order to make an arrest.

If you believe an officer arrested you and physically restrained you without any reasonable justification (i.e., you committed no crime), there is a great chance an experienced law firm can help reduce or even dismiss any charges against you. 

We Can Help You Avoid Charges from an Unconstitutional Interaction with Law Enforcement

There are facts about each specific case that can significantly reduce penalties if an experienced attorney who understands this area of law presents the case. The Law Office of Elizabeth A. Lawrence offers high-quality legal representation, personal attention, and professionalism to help defend the harsh penalties of reckless driving, DUIs, and other serious offenses in Maryland and District of Columbia. Click here or call (410) 986-0088 to consult with an experienced attorney today.

Contact Us

    Law Office of Elizabeth Anu Lawrence, LLC.
  • Address: 90 Painters Mill Road Suite 201 Owings Mills, Maryland 21117
  • Phone: (443) 352-3201

  • Email: info@elawrencelaw.com

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