posted on May, 5 2012 @ 05:29 AM
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.
• 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.
This information is not intended as legal advice.
This brochure is available in English and Spanish /
Esta tarjeta también se puede obtener en inglés y español.
Produced by the American Civil Liberties Union 6
We rely on the police to keep us safe and treat us all fairly, regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin or religion. This card provides tips for
interacting with police and understanding your rights. Note: some state laws may vary. Separate rules apply at checkpoints and when entering the U.S.
(including at airports).
IF YOU ARE 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.
IF YOU ARE STOPPED IN YOUR CAR
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
Upon request, show police your driver’s license, registration and proof of insurance
If an officer or immigration agent asks to look inside your car, you can refuse to consent to the search. But if police believe your car contains
evidence of a crime, your car can be searched without your consent.
Both drivers and passengers have the right to remain silent. If you are a passenger, you can ask if you are free to leave. If the officer says yes,
sit silently or calmly leave. Even if the officer says no, you have the right to remain silent.
IF YOU ARE QUESTIONED ABOUT YOUR IMMIGRATION STATUS
You have the right to remain silent and do not have to discuss your immigration or citizenship status with police, immigration agents or any other
You do not have to answer questions about where you were born, whether you are a U.S. citizen, or how you entered the country. (Separate rules apply
at international borders and airports, and for individuals on certain nonimmigrant visas, including tourists and business travelers.)
If you are not a U.S. citizen and an immigration agent requests your immigration papers, you must show them if you have them with you. If you are over
18, carry your immigration documents with you at all times. If you do not have immigration papers, say you want to remain silent.
Do not lie about your citizenship status or provide fake documents.
IF THE POLICE OR IMMIGRATION AGENTS COME TO YOUR HOME
If the police or immigration agents come to your home, you do not have to let them in unless they have certain kinds of warrants.
Ask the officer to slip the warrant under the door or hold it up to the window so you can inspect it. A search warrant allows police to enter the
address listed on the warrant, but officers can only search the areas and for the items listed.
An arrest warrant allows police to enter the home of the person listed on the warrant if they believe the person is inside.
A warrant of removal/deportation (ICE warrant) does not allow officers to enter a home without consent.
Even if officers have a warrant, you have the right to remain silent. If you choose to speak to the officers, step outside and close the door.