WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW WHEN STOPPED BY THE POLICE
- YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT when questioned by the police. However, you are required to give the police your name when requested. Be sure to give you correct name and your correct date of birth. It is a crime to give the police a false name of false date of birth. You are not required to give any other information. If you have been arrested, (you are not free to leave) and they continue to question you after you have given your name, you should say, “I don’t want to answer any more questions without an attorney.” At that point, they should stop all questions.
- YOU DO NOT HAVE TO CONSENT TO A SEARCH by the police. You have a right to say “No” if the police ask for your consent to search you or your vehicle. You should say, “No, I do not give my consent to search me or my vehicle.” If they perform the search anyway, don’t resist. Give all the details to your attorney. The police have a right to detain you for a reasonable amount of time if they think a crime has been committed. For example, if they have probable cause to believe there are drugs in the vehicle, they can detain you until a drug sniffing dog is brought to sniff the vehicle. If no drugs are present, you should be free to leave.
NOTE: The police do not need your consent if the vehicle has been reported stolen. This is true even if you didn’t know the vehicle had been reported stolen.
- YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO HAVE AN ATTORNEY if you are accused of a crime. If you can’t afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you by the court. Wait until you have an attorney before you answer any questions.
- DO NOT ARGUE OR FIGHT WITH THE POLICE if you are given a ticket or arrested, even if you think the police officer is wrong. Accept the ticket or submit to the arrest and present your side in court. Be sure to give your attorney all the details.