New York Civil Rights And Criminal Defense Lawyers

What rights do I have when stopped by the police?

On Behalf of | Sunday Dec 13, 2020 | Civil Rights

The role of the police is to protect and serve citizens. While many officers take their role seriously, many others do not. Too often law enforcement oversteps their boundaries, which leads to civil rights violations, injuries and loss of life. 

As explained by the ACLU, law enforcement must respect your rights in all situations. 

When police arrive at your home

The police must show a signed warrant with your exact name and address listed before entering your home. It is permissible to ask to see the warrant, as well as officer identification. While you must allow entry when given a signed warrant, you are under no obligation to answer questions. 

When police pull you over

You must show certain documents to police when they pull you over, including your driver’s license, insurance and vehicle registration. If you are a passenger, you can ask to leave the scene. Both the driver and passenger can refuse to answer questions asked by the officer. 

When police arrest you

Upon arrest, you may use your right to remain silent and request a lawyer. If you use your phone call to contact legal counsel, the police cannot listen in. They can listen to calls made to others, however, such as friends and family. 

What to do about suspected rights violations

Document as much information as you can, such as the name and badge number of the arresting officers. If injuries occurred, take pictures of them and undergo an examination by a doctor. Create a written complaint regarding the incident and submit it to the proper agency, such as a civilian review board or internal affairs agency. These actions may help you obtain justice if a law enforcement officer violates your rights.