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· Premium Member
4,133 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Feel as you might about the ACLU the following information is universally applicable and useful to all Americans.
This is not about politics it's about ones civil rights.


Know Your Rights: What to Do If You're Stopped by the Police (7/30/2004)

To fight police abuse effectively you need to know your rights. There are some things you should do, some things you must do and some things you cannot do. If you are in the middle of a police encounter, you need a handy and quick reference to remind you what your rights and obligations are.

Print this page and carry it in your wallet, pocket, or glove compartment to give you quick access to your rights and obligations concerning police encounters. Download the PDF.

Think carefully about your words, movement, body language, and emotions.

Don't get into an argument with the police.

Remember, anything you say or do can be used against you.

Keep your hands where the police can see them.

Don't run. Don't touch any police officer.

Don't resist even if you believe you are innocent.

Don't complain on the scene or tell the police they're wrong or that you're going to file a complaint.

Do not make any statements regarding the incident. Ask for a lawyer immediately upon your arrest.

Remember officers' badge and patrol car numbers.

Write down everything you remember ASAP.

Try to find witnesses and their names and phone numbers.

If you are injured, take photographs of the injuries as soon as possible, but make sure you seek medical attention first.

If you feel your rights have been violated, file a written complaint with police department's internal affairs division or civilian complaint board.

1. What you say to the police is always important. What you say can be used against you, and it can give the police an excuse to arrest you, especially if you bad-mouth a police officer.

2. You must show your driver's license and registration when stopped in a car. Otherwise, you don't have to answer any questions if you are detained or arrested, with one important exception. The police may ask for your name if you have been properly detained, and you can be arrested in some states for refusing to give it. If you reasonably fear that your name is incriminating, you can claim the right to remain silent, which may be a defense in case you are arrested anyway.

3. You don't have to consent to any search of yourself, your car or your house. If you DO consent to a search, it can affect your rights later in court. If the police say they have a search warrant, ASK TO SEE IT.

4. Do not interfere with, or obstruct the police -- you can be arrested for it.

1. It's not a crime to refuse to answer questions, but refusing to answer can make the police suspicious about you. If you are asked to identify yourself, see paragraph 2 above.

2. Police may "pat-down" your clothing if they suspect a concealed weapon. Don't physically resist, but make it clear that you don't consent to any further search.

3. Ask if you are under arrest. If you are, you have a right to know why.

4. Don't bad-mouth the police officer or run away, even if you believe what is happening is unreasonable. That could lead to your arrest.

1. Upon request, show them your driver's license, registration, and proof of insurance. In certain cases, your car can be searched without a warrant as long as the police have probable cause. To protect yourself later, you should make it clear that you do not consent to a search. It is not lawful for police to arrest you simply for refusing to consent to a search.

2. If you're given a ticket, you should sign it; otherwise you can be arrested. You can always fight the case in court later.

3. If you're suspected of drunk driving (DWI) and refuse to take a blood, urine or breath test, your driver's license may be suspended.

1. You have the right to remain silent and to talk to a lawyer before you talk to the police. Tell the police nothing except your name and address. Don't give any explanations, excuses or stories. You can make your defense later, in court, based on what you and your lawyer decide is best.

2. Ask to see a lawyer immediately. If you can't pay for a lawyer, you have a right to a free one, and should ask the police how the lawyer can be contacted. Don't say anything without a lawyer.

3. Within a reasonable time after your arrest, or booking, you have the right to make a local phone call: to a lawyer, bail bondsman, a relative or any other person. The police may not listen to the call to the lawyer.

4. Sometimes you can be released without bail, or have bail lowered. Have your lawyer ask the judge about this possibility. You must be taken before the judge on the next court day after arrest.

5. Do not make any decisions in your case until you have talked with a lawyer.

1. If the police knock and ask to enter your home, you don't have to admit them unless they have a warrant signed by a judge.

2. However, in some emergency situations (like when a person is screaming for help inside, or when the police are chasing someone) officers are allowed to enter and search your home without a warrant.

3. If you are arrested, the police can search you and the area close by. If you are in a building, "close by" usually means just the room you are in.

We all recognize the need for effective law enforcement, but we should also understand our own rights and responsibilities -- especially in our relationships with the police. Everyone, including minors, has the right to courteous and respectful police treatment.

If your rights are violated, don't try to deal with the situation at the scene. You can discuss the matter with an attorney afterwards, or file a complaint with the Internal Affairs or Civilian Complaint Board.
Produced by the American Civil Liberties Union.

Source -
PDF version of the above for printing - bust card7_04.pdf

- Janq

· Premium Member
4,133 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
"Traffic Stops 101"

Preface: Additional to the above the following was posted at DefensiveCarry by VIP Member 'Sixto' who is a patrolman.
This information goes hand in hand with the above as relative in specific to being pulled over by a LEO.


Sixto @ said:
Mods, I wasn’t sure where the correct place for this is, as it will only touch on CCW issues. The CCW subject has been well addressed in other threads. Please move if needed.

I decided to take the time and type all this out because I have seen a few "what to do if pulled over" threads, and thought it might be helpful to others here. Nothing I say here is law, legal advice or double secret insider information; it is just my thoughts after a long day of making traffic stops. Other LEO's please add on, I am tired now and I am sure I haven’t thought of everything.

What to do before the stop-
You know when you are going to get stopped, you probably even know why.
You look in your rear view and see that cruiser on your bumper.

1-Maintain your speed. If you are going mach 3, gradually slow to the limit and sit tight. Don't jam your brakes, it won’t help you now. It also won’t help if you go 15 mph under the limit after you have been noticed, it won’t reduce the severity of your violation.

2- Don’t just pull over because you know I'm going to stop you, wait for me to signal

OK, now we have traveled a few blocks, and the overhead lights come on. Heres how when and where to stop.

1- those lights on top of a police car are not Christmas lights. It means pull to the right... not the left... the right. Did I say not left? Yup, pull over to the right. You never know, I may not be after you, but need to get around you! Just pull over to the right!

2-you don’t need to jam on your brakes, just ease on over and stop

3- You don’t need to find a "safe" place to pull over. That is my job; I turned on my lights when I did for a reason. I am willing to bet I know the area and traffic patterns a little better than you do.

4- if you must pull off the road and into a driveway, remember that there is another car behind you that has to fit in that drive way too. Don’t make me block the entire outside lane with my car. Also remember that we are now going to inconvenience the homeowner who won’t be able to use his driveway for the duration of the stop. If it’s at night, we woke them up too.

5- if you pull into a parking lot, please don’t pull into a parking spot. This is very annoying to me. Just pull over. If you pull into a spot, I have to block an isle with my car, among other reasons I won’t go into here, and it’s just very annoying.

5.5- stay parallel with your orginal direction of travel.

6- now is not the time to put your seatbelt on

So now we are stopped, and your about to meet me.

1- if you don’t have your papers ready, don’t be digging around in your car for them. Wait, and tell me you don’t know where your insurance card is, we will deal with it in a better manner. This is also the time to tell me if you are armed.

2- don’t complain to me that my spotlight is blinding you... Duh! Why do you think I did that?

3- save your cutie pooh jokes... I've heard them a million times. They are not funny the 1st time around, and they are not funny 1000th time. A perfect example of this is; when an officer walks into the room, yell out "I didn’t do it" or "Officer, arrest my buddy here for xyz" I have heard that stupid crap so many times it makes me want to puke.

4-Don't ask me "is there a problem officer?" Of course there is, I didn’t stop you because I want to have tea and crumpets. 95% of the people I stop know why I am stopping them. I know, you know so drop the act. If you truly don’t know why, wait until the officer is done talking, if he did not say why, then ask. I am supposed to tell you why, but I am human too and I do forget from time to time.

5- when asked for your D/L, just give it to me. Don’t play games like "I am not going to until you do this or that" You are picking a fight you will not win.

6- If you are guilty, admit so. I don’t care if you are late getting the kids to the pool. I care that you were speeding. Acknowledge your mistake, and I am far more likely to consider my job done with out giving you a invitation to a party at the court house.
If you are not guilty, court is not held on the side of the road. Make your arguments in the courtroom.

7- If you do not have insurance, don’t lie to me. People lie to me all day long; I know when people are lying to me. You are fooling no one.
If you do have insurance, have the card that proves so in your car. I cannot look up some magic number to see if you have it or not. I need the current card from your company to prove so. No proof of insurance means a definite ticket from me.

8- remember that I am just a regular guy with a family, friends and few dogs. I am not a uniform, and I am not the cop that mistreated you 15 years ago in Boise.

9- if you are a passenger in the car, a great rule to follow is "do not speak unless spoken to"

10- hands on the upper part of the wheel, dome light on. It’s a nice touch if you shut the car off too.

11- turn down your radio, don’t be on the phone. That is an instant ticket from me too.

12-if you are a woman, crying does not help you. If you show me any body parts that I would not normally see, you will get at least one additional charge. Although you may be a great looking woman, you are not worth my career or my marriage. And no, I won’t go out with you. I guess all that would go for guys too.

13- do not get out of your car for any reason, or open your door unless you are told to do so. That is viewed as a hostile move, and it will not be pleasant.

14- no, you may not see my radar. No, I am not required to show it to you. I will not bring anyone into my car without being secured.

15- watching TV does not make you a lawyer, or even knowledgeable about what my job is.

16- I dont care who you know. If you played golf with the chief last summer, good for you. He's the one who sent me out here to write you a ticket. Also, I play golf with him often.

I go back to my car for awhile, this is what I am doing; I am running out your history, both traffic and criminal. I am writing out a citation/warning and notes on my log card. This sometimes takes longer than I like due to radio traffic, and waiting on responses from other agencies.
Now we meet for the second time-

1-If I give you a ticket, don’t argue. It’s done at that point, your wasting both of our times.

2- you will be asked to sign the ticket. It is not an admission to anything. It is simply that you acknowledge the fact that you were issued at citation. Yes, I can and will jail you if you do not want to sign for the ticket. I can also keep your D/L as a bond.

3- keep in mind that you rolling a stop sign may not seem all that big of a deal, but it would be a big deal if we were on your street.

4-If I give you a break, it not because I like you, and we are not friends now.

5- sorry, nothing personal, but don’t try to shake my hand. I am not going to reach inside your car, that is a great way to get killed.

6- When we are all done, don’t sit on the side of the road putting all you stuff away. Move on down the road. I don’t want to sit behind you while you call your momma to complain about me.

I am sure I will think of more but I am tired. Feel free to ask whatever questions you have, or if you’re an LEO please add on.

Source -
This is information that may save your bacon.
No disrespect at all to LEOs who are doing their job but people need to understand there is a manner of interacting with law enforcement upon being pulled over for any reason what so ever regardless of intent or ones own thoughts toward guilt.

- Janq

· Registered
4,273 Posts
WTF is up with number 14? im 99.99999999999999999% sure that if i want to see the radar, i gets to see the radar.

everything else is fantastic. people need to look at an LEO's job from an LEO's perspective. he most certainly does not give a flying F if your a soccer mom in the soccer mom suv full of soccer mom shait. EVERYONE is a potential threat, and things need to go down in a certain manner to reduce that threat as much as posible within reason, and thus we have the above mentioned string of events. its shocking how many people believe a cop's soul purpose in life is to inconvenience you.

regarding your first post here Janq, that list is good. but its WAY to short. I always Ref this gem.

/cuz i smoke da cheeba

EDIT: ok, so. i can REQUEST to see the radar, but the officer does not have to comply with my request. i guess just a number on a radar is not enough to issue a ticket either, in the case "State v. Peterson the court ruled that a ticket based solely on the radar is not valid for proof that the citizen was speeding."

· Registered
1,918 Posts
What the hell is up with "dont find a better place to pull over". I sure see a TON of cars pulled over IN the road, and blocking traffic. More times than not, when I have been pulled over, I have been the one to find a sutiable place to pull over - like in a parking lot or sometimes a turn lane when there is nothing else.

I havent ever been told not to do it either - as I have only received warnings anyways :p
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