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Tips When Dealing With Police / The Constitution / The Bill of Rights

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Every citizen must know their rights. It's an absolute need when dealing with the police. We have some useful information that will help you. We must tell you that it is your job to check your local legislation for the laws in your state. The following is offered as a broad overview and some info may not be consistent with YOUR state laws.

Your Rights

YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO FILM THE POLICE - In all 50 states except Illinois, you have the right to film the police during the course of their duties provided that you remain at a safe distance, do not physically interefere with their duties, be on public property or your own property, and if you are on private property, you must have the property owners permission. Police can NOT tell you to stop recording, the can not make you leave if other members of the public (without recording) are allowed to stay. They CAN order you to back up. If you are going to record the police, do it in an open and obvious manner. Under the 1st ammendment there are no circumstances where the contents of video or photographs should be deleted or destroyed. Source - Washington Post

YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT - You have the right to remain silent and not speak to the police. In fact it is never advisable to speak to the police EVER!!!

YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO LEGAL COUNSEL DURING ANY QUESTIONING - During any questioning, you have the legal right to have a lawyer present. You can not be forced to answer any questions. Police will often use legal lies to get you to answer their questions. Simply state in a calm respectful voice, "I do not answer questions, I want my lawyer."

YOU DO NOT HAVE TO IDENTIFY YOURSELF TO THE POLICE - You are not required to identify yourself or provide ID to the police unless you are being detained. Simply ask in a polite calm and respectful voice, "Am I free to leave?" If you are not being detained, you are free to leave, Walk away. However if the officer says that you are being detained, simply ask again in the same voice, "What crime am I suspected of commiting?" The officer MUST be able to articulate what crime you are suspected of commiting. Simply fitting the description is NOT reason for detainment. Ask the officer, "Am I under arrest?" If you are being detained or are under arrest, you MUST comply and give them your ID and/or identify yourself.

YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO REFUSE SEARCHES - You have the right to refuse searches. An officer MUST have probable cause to search you.

  1. Probable cause to arrest, search, or seize property exists when facts and circumstances known to the police officer would lead a reasonable person to believe: that the person to be arrested has committed a crime; that the place to be searched was the scene of a crime;
  2. The Fourth Amendment requires that the police have a reasonable suspicion that a crime has been, is being, or is about to be committed before stopping a suspect. If the police reasonably suspect the person is armed and dangerous, they may conduct a frisk, a quick pat-down of the person's outer clothing.

Simply state in a calm polite and respectable voice, "I do not consent to searches." Police in some states are permitted to pat you down (searching you without going into your pockets, purse, or other property. However, if you are stopped at the border, police do NOT require your consent to search you or your vehicle.

YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW THE OFFICERS INFO - You have a legal right to know the officers name, badge number, and agency they work for. Police MUST identify themselves prior to initiating a roadside investigation.





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