What is the Primary Duty of a Police Officer?

The primary duty of a police officer is to protect people and property. They maintain order, catch lawbreakers, and work to prevent crimes. In carrying out their law enforcement duties, police officers have contact with those in the communities they serve in order to get information and to gather evidence.

Can the Police Stop, Question, or Search You?

A police officer can ask to speak to you at any time.  The duration of the encounter and whether your response is voluntary or mandatory differs depending on the nature of the stop.  Generally, there are three types of interactions with the police: Consensual voluntary encounter– If a police officer stops you without a warrant,…


When Can the Police Pull Over Your Vehicle?

Generally, a traffic stop is considered reasonable—and therefore legal—if police: 1) have a legitimate reason (called “reasonable suspicion”) for stopping the motorist in the first place, and 2) conduct the roadside detention in a reasonable manner.  Officers cannot randomly engage in roving stops of drivers to check licenses and registrations.  A police officer also must…


May the Police Search Your Vehicle After You Have Been Stopped?

Generally, no.  However, the police are allowed to search your car without a search warrant if there is probable cause to believe that there is evidence of a crime or contraband located in your car. The scope of a warrantless search of an automobile is defined by the object of the search and the places…


Can You be Arrested for Failing to Cooperate with Police?

The failure to answer questions posed by the police, in and of itself, does not provide probable cause to arrest you.  Other relevant conduct or circumstances may lead an officer to conduct an investigative stop.  Keep in mind that section 901.36, Florida Statutes, provides that giving false information to the police during a valid investigative…