Q: What if law enforcement officers stop me on the street?
A: You do not have to answer any questions. You can say, “I do not want to talk to you” and walk away calmly. Or, if you do not feel comfortable doing that, you can ask if you are free to go. If the answer is yes, you can consider just walking away. Do not run from the officer. If the officer says you are not under arrest, but you are not free to go, then you are being detained. Being detained is not the same as being arrested, though an arrest could follow. The police can pat down the outside of your clothing only if they have “reasonable suspicion” (i.e., an objective reason to suspect) that you might be armed and dangerous. If they search any more than this, say clearly, “I do not consent to a search.” If they keep searching anyway, do not physically resist them. You do not need to answer any questions if you are detained or arrested, except that the police may ask for your name once you have been detained, and you can be arrested in some states for refusing to provide it. CONT'>
This is not legal advice. All laws may vary depending on the state you live in. Check all local and state laws to see if same rights apply. Know your rights.
THE POINT OF THIS SECTION IS TO HELP AVOID CONFRONTATIONS WITH COPS AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE TO AVOID GETTING A TICKET OR EVEN WORSE ARRESTED. IF YOU KNOW YOUR ON PRIVATE PROPERTY AND THE COPS COME JUST BE AS COOL AS POSSIBLE AND BOUNCE IF NOT DETANIED OR ARRESTED....OR DEAL WITH JERKS LIKE THIS ↓