Each and everyone one of us is bound by law. There are actions and activities that are prohibited to ensure everyone’s safety, and breaking them might land you in jail. The general public is largely aware of these rules, but every law-abiding citizen still needs to be aware of their rights. But why is there the need to know what the rules are if a person is law-abiding in the first place?
Why Knowing Your Rights (and the Law) is Important
We all have rights that the law protects. But sometimes, we overlook them simply because we’re not aware. Here are some reasons why you should know what your rights are.
Protection from Unnecessary Legal Problems. The saying “ignorance is bliss” isn’t exactly applicable to matters like the law. Ignorance of the law doesn’t exempt people from it, and thus it’s best to familiarize yourself with it. When you know your rights, you know what can and cannot be done, you understand what’s within the scope of the law, and act accordingly. Especially if you’re working within a specific industry with laws associated with it, knowing what they are and how they work will help you stay out of trouble.
Avoid People Who Want to Take Advantage of You. Some people will do their best to take advantage of you and your situation. If you’re not aware of your rights and the law, you might unknowingly fall prey to their plans and consequences will follow. Be careful with who you associate with, be it business or personal matters. If their proposal feels dubious, consider asking for legal advice on whether it’s safe or not.
Prevents Avoidable Expenses. When you’re on the receiving end of a fine, it might feel like the only way out is paying it. But if you know your basic rights and you’re sure you didn’t violate them, you can contest this. Many people often feel nervous when they find themselves having to pay a fine, but always remember to know the truth before responding.
You Can Feel Safe. It is only when we know we’re on the right and not impeding on the law that we can feel secure. By knowing what the law covers, one can avoid unwittingly stepping on the law. While this advice might sound basic and rather simple, the truth is many people feel fine in their ignorance.
Tips and Reminders
Even if you’re a law-abiding citizen, you still might be put in a situation where you’re called on by the law. Take, for example, the nerve-wracking experience whenever you’re stopped by the police. However, there are laws put in place to help citizens and make sure that due process is followed. Below are some helpful reminders in the event you find yourself being stopped by the police.
Staying calm regardless of the situation is a virtue we should all live by. Should you find yourself in a situation where you’re being summoned by the law, don’t react emotionally. Stay calm and collected and know what it is you’re needed for. By staying cool, you can better decide on what to do next. Reacting emotionally might simply make matters worse.
Know what it is you’re needed for, and if you’re accused of committing something illegal, coordinate with the authorities to sort everything out. And hire a lawyer, which brings us to the next point.
Always Speak to Your Attorney
If you find yourself in a position needing a lawyer, then go get one as soon as possible. While it’s still appropriate to coordinate with the authorities, it’s better to only talk to your own lawyer regarding the situation. And hire someone with the specialization you’re looking for, be it an experienced DUI attorney or a civil lawyer. Hiring someone within a specific industry will help you as they’re most likely experienced and well-versed in a situation like yours.
You Have the Right to Remain Silent
We all have the constitutional right to hold our voice and remain silent. If by any chance, you’re apprehended by law enforcement officials or any other authority for that matter, you don’t have to talk to them. There are no consequences to remaining silent, but coordinating with them and talking to a lawyer is critical to clear your name.
At the end of the day, it’s all about knowing your basic rights. The only way we can navigate society safely and freely is to both not step on other people’s rights and to know of our own. By living by the law, and knowing what the law entails and requires, we can always have a shot at clearing our name or fighting against false accusations.