When law enforcement comes to your door to perform an address verification, you should only show them your ID. We suggest registrants do not speak with law enforcement without having an attorney present. Casual pleasantries, such as “how’s your day going?”, “it’s going fine” or “think we’ll get rain today?”, “sure looks like it” is totally fine, but if an officer asks to review your registry information or starts questioning you about compliance, we strongly suggest you tell them you will be happy to answer any questions they have but only with your attorney present.
In this week’s weekly update we reported about a sting operation in Volusia where 16 people were arrested. After cross referencing the names in the article with the charging affidavits filed with the Volusia County Clerk of Courts (https://app02.clerk.org/ccms/) we found the majority were arrested for registration violations after volunteering the information or stating they didn’t know they were supposed to register something (and thereby admitting). In several of these recent cases, attorneys have filed motions to suppress the confessions, statements or admissions that were obtained illegally, but that would have been unnecessary if they said nothing to begin with, which is a right you need to know that you have.
Naturally, we recommend everyone reading this familiarize yourselves with all registration requirements and comply. But we also remind you of your rights under the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and Article One Section 9 of the Florida Constitution, to not incriminate yourself. The best practice to avoid doing so is to say nothing and not allow yourself to be pressured into speaking! And above all do not let them inside your property without a warrant.
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS!
If you need to, print out a copy of the ACLU’s Pocket Card on Police Encounters and keep it on yourself and by your front door.