Teens and young adults can have challenges as they enjoy their summer or beach week. Young people should know their rights during encounters with law enforcement. Below are seven points to keep in mind if stopped by the police.
- If stopped on foot, sharing your name and identification may be required; otherwise, remain silent. You must assert the right to remain silent out loud to law enforcement.
- You have the right to refuse a request to search your person, car or home. Politely decline any search request. If they believe they have probable cause, law enforcement will proceed anyway.
- You may calmly leave if not under arrest.
- If arrested, ask for a lawyer immediately, and do not talk to police further.
- During a police encounter, be calm and polite. Write down details of a police encounter when details are fresh. If you’re a teen or young adult, call a parent if arrested or cited.
- Do not interfere with or obstruct police, lie or provide false documents, or put your hands in a place where the police can’t see them.
- During a vehicle stop, you must provide a current license, car registration and insurance information. You are not required to take a breath or blood test, though refusal may result in a license suspension.
While these seven tips can help you understand your rights, encounters with law enforcement should always be taken seriously. If anything happens, retain an attorney who understands this landscape.