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Being stopped and detained by the police is often stressful. However, you have rights protected by the Constitution when handling an encounter with the police. Remember the rights highlighted below, and talk to our Illinois civil rights lawyers at Michael D. Ettinger & Associates if you think your rights have been violated.
The police stop most citizens in public because they are suspected of committing a traffic violation or other crime. While you might feel intimidated in this situation, remember the following rights when the police stop you:
The most important civil right to remember when stopped by the police is you have the right to remain silent. You do not have to answer any police questions about what you were doing, where you were going, or where you live. You do not have to say anything at all. If you want to remain silent, politely tell the police that you wish to do so. However, if you do not answer when they ask you to identify yourself.
You do not have to consent if they ask to search you or your vehicle. However, the police can pat you down to see if you have weapons. Remember that refusing their search does not mean they will not search you. For example, if you do not consent to search your vehicle, the police can get a warrant from a judge and do it anyway.
If the police arrest you, you are not required to defend yourself in court. Instead, you can hire an attorney, or the court will appoint one.
Many must realize you also have the right not to answer questions about where you were born, whether you are a citizen, or how you came into the US. That said, there are special rules for law enforcement in airports and at international borders.
Sometimes the police will violate a person’s civil rights during the arrest or questioning. If you think this happened to you, there are several steps to take:
If you are reading this and you think the police violated your civil rights, we want to talk to you today. Contact our Illinois civil rights lawyers at Michael D. Ettinger & Associates at (708) 923-0368 about handling your civil rights case.