This week, Head & Hands would like to remind you of your basic rights when interacting with the police:
- You can stay silent and refuse to talk to police or answer their questions, unless you are in a bar or a movie theatre, driving a car, or they say you broke the law. In those cases, you must give your name, birth date, and address, or show your ID, but you do not have to say more.
- You can say no if police ask to search you or your belongings. Saying no does not mean you have something to hide.
- You can leave unless you are being detained or arrested.
- If you are being detained or arrested, you have the right to know why, and the right to speak to a lawyer in private without delay, even if you can’t pay.
- You can only be strip-searched in private and by officers of the “same” sex.
- You have the right to know an officer’s name and badge number.
- You can report an officer who abuses you, swears at you, or violates your rights.
At Head & Hands, our legal services include information, support, and accompaniment in the case of arrest or violation of rights. We also have twice weekly, by-appointment legal clinics where you can get legal advice from a lawyer, and we offer community workshops on a variety of legal issues.
The above information should not be taken as legal advice or relied upon in legal proceedings–if you require legal advice, you should contact a lawyer.