Every criminal defendant needs an attorney. Knowing one’s rights helps level the playing field when one is accused of or investigated for a crime.
If you are arrested, you should immediately assert your right to an attorney and do not give any statements (this means talk) to the police. If you are innocent, you should still do the same thing and assert your right to an attorney and wait for your attorney to be present before giving any statement.
You always have a right to remain silent and to an attorney. You have a right against unreasonable searches and seizures. You should always exercise those rights. You also have Miranda Rights if you are put in police custody. Everyone, including legal immigrants and undocumented immigrants, has constitutional rights.
Be polite and respectful when talking to the police. Ask to leave often, as not asking is considered to be voluntarily staying. Ask the police for cause; the police must articulate their observed suspicions. Ask if requests by the police are orders. Never answer questions the police ask, never lie or give false documents to the police, and never give consent (permission) to a search without fully reading a warrant. Also, do not flee, resist, argue, or obstruct the police. Ask to speak to your lawyer immediately.
A consensual encounter is when consents to talking to the police or when the police sees things in plain sight. One is not required to show their ID and is always free to leave.
An investigative detention is when police have a “reasonable articulable suspicion” that there is criminal activity. The police may only detain the suspect for about 20 minutes to search for probable cause. If not, then the police must let the suspect leave. Police are allowed to frisk the suspect, but only for the purpose of detecting weapons to protect the officers’ safety.
Suspects are not required to show ID, and should clarify with the police if what they are is a “request” or an “order.” Suspects should not give consent to any search, and should frequently ask if they are allowed to leave.
If a suspect is put under arrested, then the police will have to issue Miranda Warnings about one’s right to silence and an attorney. Always exercise those rights. Say out loud “I wish to remain silent and get an attorney.”