Whether a traffic stop that turns into “We smell something in your car” or a “driving while black” incident, you have rights when you’re pulled over — and it’s for the best if you actually use them.
In this video, Elon James White talks about what to do if you’re stopped by the police. His video is based on the ACLU’s Know Your Rights: What To Do If You’re Stopped By Police, Immigration Agents or the FBI.
- 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 calmly leave.
- 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.
Along those lines, there are four magic phrases you can use if you are pulled over by the police, as we reported last year. (Author’s note: As several readers have pointed out … yes, you could make a cop angry by invoking or stating your rights, and that could mean they will rough you up. Does that mean you shouldn’t use them? Absolutely not. In fact, I’d argue that it makes it even more important to follow along closely with this script, because if they then violate the law, you’ve got a better leg to stand on later when you take them to court.)
- “Am I free to go?”
- “I do not consent to any searches.”
- “I want to remain silent.”
- “I want a lawyer.”
- 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.
Here is more information if you are:
- Stopped For Questioning
- Stopped In Your Car
- Questioned About Your Immigration Status
- Approached By Police Or Immigration Agents at Home
- Contacted By The FBI
- Taken Into Immigration (Or “ICE”) Custody
And here is more information if
Check it out for more information about your rights during law enforcement encounters.