Dealing with Police

 

Q: What are my rights when dealing with a police officer?

A:

  • Right to remain silent (If you wish to exercise that right, say so out loud)
  • Refuse to consent to a search of yourself, you car, or your home
  • If you are not under arrest, you have the right to calmly leave
  • Right to a lawyer if you are arrested (Ask for one immediately)
  • Constitutional Rights (regardless of immigration or citizenship status)

 

Q: What are my responsibilities when dealing with a police officer?

A: 

  • Stay calm and be polite
  • Don't interfere with or obstruct the police
  • Do not lie or give false documents
  • Prepare yourself and your family in case you are arrested
  • Remember the details of an encounter

 

Q: What do I do if I am stopped for questioning?

A:

  • Stay calm: Don't run or argue. Don't resist or obstruct police, even if you are innocent. Keep your hands where the police can see them.
  • Ask if you are free to leave: If yes, calmly and silently walk away. If you are under arrest, you have a right to know why,
  • You have the right to remain silent: You cannot be punished for refusing to answer questions. Tell the officer you are exercising your right outloud. 
  • You do not have to consent to a search: of yourself or your belongings.

 

Q: What do I do if I am stopped in my car?

A:

  • Stop the car in a safe place as quickly as possible
  • Show the police your driver's license, registration, and proof of insurance
  • You can refuse to consent to a search of your car (If police believe your car contains evidence of a crime, they can search it without your consent)
  • Both drivers and passengers have the right to remain silent

 

Q: What do I do if I am questioned about my immigration status?

A:

  • You have the right to remain silent and do not have to discuss your immigration or citizenship status
  • If you are not a U.S. citizen and an immigration agent requests your immigration papers, you must show them if you have them with you
  • Do not lie about your citizenship status or provide fake documents