Okay. So you've been stopped by the police.

For starters, recall the following tips:
  1. Always be cool and calm
  2. Assert your rights with confidence
  3. Don’t get tricked into waiving your rights
  4. NEVER put your hands on an officer
  5. NEVER lie to the police

Now, it's easier said than done to assert your rights with confidence. And if you take it overboard ("I know my rights! I know the law! I'll sue you for this!"), you might land yourself in hot water.

Instead of running your mouth, show the police you know your rights by using the "magic words".

Remember, you have the right...
  • to remain silent;
  • to be secure against unreasonable search or seizure;
  • not to be arbitrarily detained;
  • to know the reason for being detained;
  • to obtain and instruct counsel if arrested or detained


In the heat of the moment, here are some tools to assert your constitutionally-guaranteed rights and freedoms:

To assert your right to silence, KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT.

If an officer wants to go through your belongings without a search warrant, "Sorry, I do not consent to searches" OR "Unfortunately, I cannot let you in without a warrant."

To terminate an encounter, "Are you detaining me or am I free to go?"

If you are being arrested or detained,
"I am going to remain silent. I would like to speak with a lawyer."

DISCLAIMER: These phrases won't make the police love you, and they may not prevent you from getting pinched. However, the police will likely be extra cautious in terms of violating your rights.


This post is for informational purposes only. Its contents should not be taken as legal advice for any specific situation.

When in doubt, contact a lawyer to determine your options in dealing with police.