You have rights when you are stopped by the police
Feel free to exercise and enforce your rights. Here is a list of things to do if you are stopped by the police; turn your car off, turn on your inside lights if it is dark, put your emergency lights on, roll the window down half way and place your hands safely where the officer can see them.
If you are asked, provide the officer with your license, insurance card and registration. Do not ask why you are stopped, allow the officer to explain to you his reasons. Simply answer yes or no or inform the officer that you are exercising your right to remain silent.
- You have the right to remain silent. If you wish to exercise that right, say so out loud. You cannot be punished for not answering questions.
- You have the right to refuse to consent to a search of yourself, your car or your home. Police may ‘pat’ you down if they suspect any weapons. Do not resist it but you are allowed to refuse any further searches.
- If you are not under arrest, you have the right to calmly leave.
- You have the right to a lawyer if you are arrested. Ask for one immediately. Do not say anything further until your lawyer is present.
- Regardless of your immigration or citizenship status, you have constitutional rights.
- Stay calm and be polite.
- Do not 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 the encounter.
- File a written complaint if you feel your rights have been violated.
Always try to write down the officer’s name, badge number or car number, and the time you were stopped (preferably all four).
If you feel that your rights have been violated, or you were wrongfully treated, call us immediately so that we may fight for your rights. Our office handles an array of criminal matters and will stand up for your rights.