Know Your Rights When Encountering Law Enforcement With This Handy Chart

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Picture: Online Paralegal Programs (C)

This handy chart might help you remember your rights in the event you have an unexpected encounter with law enforcement of some sort.

Disclaimer: Exercise of your rights may result in bodily injury and sudden, inexplicable loss of security footage, frame-ups, and contortionist acts of handcuffed in the backseat of a patrol car suicide or incarceration. Would-be exercisers of rights are strongly encouraged to do so in the presence of witnesses and on camera. Not responsible for seized cameras, destroyed footage and witness intimidation. Minorities are strongly urged to exercise extreme caution when exercising their rights

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  • DrDavidKelly

    It’s a little different here in Australia where the cops actually have greater power and we also have no constitutional protection. I’ve been lucky and never had to deal with the police but the thing that strikes me as the most problematic is their ability to detain you over probable cause – because really this amounts to ‘anything the cops want to make up’. You can be walking down the street and they can stop and search you (in Australia) if they suspect a crime has been or is about to be committed.
    Cop: Stop
    You: why? I haven’t done anything wrong.
    Cop: err well umm lets see … ooh I know we’ve had some problems in this area tonight – you could be a criminal
    You: Oh but I’m not?
    Cop: Too bad son, I have established probable cause. Spread ‘em.

    • InfvoCuernos

      That does sound pretty close what the cops in the States do-
      Cop: Stop
      You: Why?
      Cop: You match the description of a suspect.
      (with a little imagination, anybody can “match” the description of “a suspect”. Just falling into any ethnicity-including white-puts you in the realm of probable cause.)
      Your best bet is to wear a police uniform, they seem to be able to violate laws with impunity.

  • Cortacespedes

    It’s hard to remember that you have any rights whatsoever when you’re sitting on the curb outside of your apartment, with your hands behind your head, in a disheveled state of undress, at 4:30 in the morning.

    Meanwhile, inside the apartment, LE is merrily rifling thru your most personal belongings with the reckless abandon of a level 5 tornado.

    And it would seem, that no matter how early in the morning they decide to execute these incursions, you’ll always end up late for work.

  • BuzzCoastin

    you have the right to remain silent in the company of pigs
    best to exercise that right for safety’s sake

    • slipperyelf

      Careful, silence is acquiescence.

      • BuzzCoastin

        we’re long past acquiescence
        we’re now at silent resistence
        the last step before capitulation

  • bodge

    2.30 am and I am walking back from a fishing trip. Cops pull up near me and got out to ask me what have I been up to at that time of the morning? Its should have been clear as I was carrying rods, reels, bags, a lantern and two fish. lmao. Apparently its “not normal” to be walking around at that time of the morning. I said “Night Stalking” was a crime in medieval england that lasted from the dark ages until the 1960s when it was thrown out of the law books. The reason that it was not normal was never made clear and despite their best efforts they could not find any crimes I might have done and have no record or warrants which they seemed quite pissed about, BUT “I did look like a suspect they were seeking” lol.

  • Juan

    What is the other half? Please, do tell.

    • Tishamingo

      Do not try this without witnesses or in full public view, and even then…

      My father used to tell me that sometimes when they wanted to get rid of someone who was being a special pain in the ass in the area, they would arrest but not file charges. They would then transport the “individual” County by County until he reached Cook County, where he would finally be released…

      without his clothes. And this was by far one of the nicer things they would do.

  • Capt Turk

    I, and a friend, both white males, around 40, walking across a parking lot in Marathon Fla. We were surrounded by cops, and ended up handcuffed and face down on the hood of a cop car for 4 hours. Seems some black teen in white pants and a blue shirt molested some kid a couple of blocks away. I was wearing a blue shirt, and my friend was wearing white jeans. Sometimes I can’t believe just how stupid cops are. Duh!!

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