Being stopped by police is a stressful experience. The link will help you to understand what the law requires and also offer strategies for handling police encounters. The only thing to remember in the unlikely event of being in this situation is, Stay Calm and carry your ID with you at all times. Here we describe what the law requires and also offer strategies for handling police encounters. We want to be clear: The burden of de-escalation does not fall on private citizens — it falls on police officers. However, you cannot assume officers will behave in a way that protects your safety or that they will respect your rights even after you assert them. You may be able to reduce risk to yourself by staying calm and not exhibiting hostility toward the officers. The truth is that there are situations where people have done everything they could to put an officer at ease, yet still ended up injured or killed.
I’ve been stopped by the police in public:
- You have the right to remain silent.
- 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.
- If you are arrested by police, you have the right to a government-appointed lawyer if you cannot afford one.
- 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.
For more information, please refer to this great article at aclu.org.