What to do if you're stopped by the police

What to do if you’re stopped by the police?

When stopped by the police, the most important phrases to remember are “I would like to remain silent,” and “I do not consent to this search.”

Remember that what you say to the police is always important. EVERYTHING you say can be used against you.

You have the right not to speak. To exercise this right, you should tell the police, “ I would like to remain silent.”

You NEVER have to consent to a search of yourself, your belongings, your car, or your house. If you consent to a search, it can affect your rights later in court. If the police say they have a search warrant, ask to see it. If they don’t have a search warrant, say “I do not consent to this search. This may not stop the search from happening, but it will protect your rights if you have to go to court.

Do not interfere with or obstruct the police - you can be arrested for it.

If you are stopped, questioned, or frisked, you should ask if you are free to leave. The police may pat down your outer clothing if they suspect you pose a danger to them or others. Do not physically resist, but say, “I do not consent to this search.” If the officer asks you to empty your pockets, DON’T DO IT. Say “I do not consent to this search.” If the officer reaches into your pockets or bag, it would be considered a search.

If you are stopped in your car, show the police your driver’s license, registration and proof of insurance. There are certain cases where your car can be searched without a warrant. However, NEVER consent to a search. Clearly say, “I do not consent to this search.”

If you are arrested or taken to a police station you have the right to remain silent and the right to talk to a lawyer. DON’T TELL THE POLICE ANYTHING EXCEPT YOUR NAME AND ADDRESS. Don’t give any explanations, excuses or stories. If you have a lawyer, ask to see your lawyer immediately. Do not say anything to the police without speaking to a lawyer first. Do not make any decisions in your case or sign any statements until you have talked with a lawyer. If you are permitted to make a phone call, anything you say at the police station may be recorded or listened to. NEVER talk about facts of your case over the telephone.