Know your rights.
How to Prevent a Dangerous Situation
- Do stay calm and be polite.
- Do not interfere with or obstruct the police.
- Do not lie or give false documents.
- Do prepare yourself and your family in case you are arrested.
- Do remember the details of the encounter.
- Do file a written complaint or call your local ACLU if you feel your rights have been violated.
Your Basic Rights
- You have the right to remain silent. If you wish to exercise that right, say so out loud.
- You have the right to refuse to consent to a search of yourself, your car, or your home.
- If you are not under arrest, you have the right to leave calmly.
- You have the right to a lawyer if you are arrested. Ask for one immediately.
- Regardless of your immigration or citizenship status, you have constitutional rights.
- Stay calm. Don't run.
- Don't argue, resist, or obstruct the police even if you are innocent or police are violating your rights.
- Keep your hands where police can see them.
- Ask if you are free to leave.
- If the officer says 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 and cannot be punished for refusing to answer questions.
- If you wish to remain silent, tell the officer out loud.
- In some states, you must give your name if asked to identify yourself.
- You do not have to consent to a search of yourself or your belongings, but police may "pat down" your clothing if they suspect a weapon.
- You should not physically resist, but you have the right to refuse consent for any further search.
- If you do consent, it can affect you later in court.
- Stop the car in a safe place as quickly as possible.
- Turn off the car, turn on the internal light, open the window part way, and place your hands on the wheel.
- Upon request, show police your driver's license, registration, and proof of insurance.
- If an officer or immigration agent asks to look inside your car you can refuse to consent to the search, but if police believe your car contains evidence of a crime your car can be searched without your consent.
- Both drivers and passengers have the right to remain silent.
- If you are a passenger, you can ask if you are free to leave.
- If the officer says yes, sit silently or calmly leave.
- Even if the officer says no, you have the right to remain silent.
- If the police or immigration agents come to your home, you do not have to let them in unless they have certain kinds of warrants.
- Ask the officer to slip the warrant under the door or hold it up to the window so you can inspect it.
- A search warrant allows police to enter the address listed on the warrant, but officers can only search the areas and for the items listed.
- An arrest warrant allows police to enter the home of the person listed on the warrant if they believe the person is inside.
- A warrant of removal/deportation (ICE warrant) does not allow officers to enter a home without consent.
- Even if officers have a warrant, you have the right to remain silent.
- If you choose to speak to the officers, step outside and close the door.
- You have the right to remain silent and do not have to discuss your immigration or citizenship status with police, immigration agents, or any other officials.
- You do not have to answer questions about where you were born, whether you are a U.S. citizen, or how you entered the country. (Separate rules apply at international borders and airports, and for individuals on certain nonimmigrant visas, including tourists and business travelers.)
- 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.
- If you are over 18, carry your immigration documents with you at all times.
- If you do not have immigration papers, say you want to remain silent.
- Do not lie about your citizenship status or provide fake documents.
What to do After You Have Been Violated
- Always get the officer's badge number and know which city and department.
- Immediately write down everything you remember about the incident.
- File a complaint at the police dept to the Internal Affairs department.
- Contact the Watch commander or Chief (e.g. Hutchens)
- Contact your local civil rights organization for help (e.g. NAACP).
- Contact your local, state, and federal officials.
- Protest the police department where the officer works in force.
- Contact the DA regarding charges been pressed (e.g. Rackauckas).