Know your Rights People
Know your Rights People!
When You have encounters with police officers what is your first instinct??? Most are to comply with them, right?? While others like myself will and have exercised my rights to them. In their eyes I’m being disrespectful and as if I am questioning their authority, When in all actuality I am voicing my right as a civilian living in the state of Washington. Know your rights people!!
Here is what you as a civilian have THE RIGHT to do in a similar case:
- 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.
These would be YOUR RESPONSIBILITY in the same 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.
These would be if you were stopped for questioning :
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.
Here is the most important of all in the state of Washington, If YOUR PULLED OVER
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 asks to look inside your car, you can refuse to consent to the search.
Both drivers and passengers have the right to remain silent. I
Also, being a passenger in the vehicle of one pulled over you have the right to sit their and you do not have to answer to them as long as your seat belt is on and you have no active warrants. If you are known and have active warrants then clearly this doesn’t hold, but as long as your side of the fence is clean you don’t even need to respond to them when they ask your name.
3 questions to ask off the top 2 know where you stand:
1. Did I break the law??
2. Am I under arrest??
3. Am I being detained??
If the answers are NO you do have the right to walk away, keep in mind you DON’T HAVE TO SAY ANYTHING!!
Tips For Safety
STAY CALM AND STAY PUT. Don’t run or suddenly move.
KEEP YOUR HANDS where the officer can see them and free of any objects if possible.
NEVER TOUCH any police officer.
FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS. You can always make a complaint later if you feel your rights were violated.
You Have The Right To:
ASK IF YOU ARE FREE TO LEAVE. If the answer is yes, DO IT! Not every encounter with police is a “stop” and you may be free to just walk away.
REMAIN SILENT. Seriously, you don’t have to talk! You can say, “I’m exercising my right to remain silent” and then don’t speak.
RECORD the interaction, but be aware that holding or reaching for a mobile device may be viewed as threatening.
ASK FOR A LAWYER immediately if you are arrested or taken to a police station. You don’t have to know a lawyer; you can ask for information to call one and they must provide it.
DECLINE A REQUEST TO SEARCH your car, your home, your belongings, or your person.
Calmly say “I do not consent to a search.”
A warrantless search is allowed in some circumstances, but it is always helpful to say you don’t consent to a search.
An officer can pat you down if they suspect a weapon.
An officer can require that you show your ID if you are driving a car or in certain cases involving alcohol or marijuana.
An officer must have a warrant to enter your home unless they are responding to an emergency.
If You Feel Your Rights Have Been Violated:
WRITE DOWN everything you can remember, including the officer’s name(s) and/or badge number(s).
TAKE PHOTOGRAPHS OF ANY INJURIES you incurred and SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION even for minor injuries.
CONTACT A LAWYER and consider FILING A COMPLAINT.
For more information on your options, contact the ACLU of Washington:
mail: 901 Fifth Ave., #630
Seattle, WA 98164