What to Do if You’re Stopped
The following advice, from the New York Civil Liberties Union, an organization dedicated to defending and preserving individual rights and liberties.
The information here is also available from the NYCLU as a card for you to carry. This card tells you what to do if you are stopped, questioned, arrested, or injured in your encounter with the police, and how to file a complaint.
IF YOU HAVE A POLICE ENCOUNTER, YOU CAN PROTECT YOURSELF:
- 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 do 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, say “I do not consent to this search.” Police cannot arrest you simply for refusing to consent to a 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..