​If stopped in the Streets:

  • If you are not under arrest, you have the right to calmly leave.

  • You have the right to remain silent, but do say "I want to remain silent." You cannot be arrested or detained for refusing to answer questions. 
  • You have the right to deny a search of your person, unless there is probable cause for a search.

If you are stopped in your car:

  • You have the right to pull over in a safe, well-lit area. If you are uncomfortable pulling over on the highway, call 911 and ask the dispatcher to let the officer know you are looking for a safe area to pull over. Put on your hazard lights to acknowledge the officer. 

  • You must show your license, registration, and proof of insurance when asked, if you were driving.
  • ​You have the right to know why you were stopped. 
  • You have the right to record the incident and obtain the officer's name.
  • Do keep your hands on the wheel and let the officer know what you are doing (I'm going to reach for my registration now.").
  • If the officer asks to search your vehicle, you do not have to consent to a search, unless the officer has probable cause for a search.
  • If arrested, you may request to leave your vehicle in a safe location, so it is not towed.

If you get arrested:

  • Do tell the police your name and basic identifying information. 
  • You have the right to remain silent. 
  • You will have the right to make phone calls, but not right away. Once you are booked, you may make your phone calls. 

So, what is "probable cause"?

Common examples of probable cause include the sight or smell of contraband in plain view or plain smell, or an admission of guilt for a specific crime. The presentation of any of these facts would allow an officer to perform a search and make an arrest.

​"You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you can not afford one, one will be appointed to you. Do you understand these rights as I have read them to you? With these rights in mind, do you wish to speak with me?"  

Know Your Rights.

If police stop by your home: 

  • First, make sure they are an actual law enforcement official. Ask to see credentials, and if you are still uncomfortable, call 911 and ask if an officer is currently dispatched to your address.

  • Ask them why they are at your home.
  • If the officer has a warrant to search your home, you have a right to view the warrant
  • You have the right to not open your door, but if an officer has a warrant they are allowed to make a forcible entry.
  • You have the right to refuse entry to your home. If you wish to speak with the officer, you may step outside.