What to do if you're stopped, questioned, searched or arrested by the police.


The biggest mistake you can make when you are stopped, questioned, searched or arrested by a police officer is to think that you can back the police officer off by threatening him/her with a lawsuit, news coverage or even worse physical harm.   Never try to threaten or outsmart a police officer.   Instead, be courteous and cooperative, keeping your rights in mind to determine what you should or should not say.

If the police officer is wrong for stopping, searching, questioning or arresting you, there are things you can do LATER!   This includes filing a complaint with their commanding officer, Internal Affairs, the Civilian Review Complaint Board and possibly suing the officer and the police department.   But at the time you are confronted by a police officer, they have the power!   Your power is in deciding what if anything you are going to say or allow the police officers to do.

You can get a free printable card with your rights from the American Civil Liberties Union.

Things not to do when stopped, questioned, searched or arrested by the police.


Things you should do when stopped, questioned, searched or arrested by the police.