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ACLU Statement on State Patty’s Day

State Patty’s Day is around the corner and the police will be out in force. The police will not be issuing citations and will arrest everyone. Pre-trial diversion programs will be in effect and police will seek maximum penalties.

This is a wonderful opportunity to brush up on your civil rights skills. Remember:

1. You have the right not to answer any questions asked by the police other than your name. Don’t say something like “I know my rights, yo! I don’t have to talk to you!” Politely tell the police that you wish to remain silent and answer any questions or requests with “Am I free to go?”

2. The police may not enter your house or apartment or dorm room without a warrant or your consent. Do not give them your consent. If the police are at your door, always speak to them outside. Do not allow them to take a peek inside your apartment from the door. If they choose to enter without your consent, do not resist, but say firmly “I do not consent to this search.”

3. You do not have to show your ID to the police.

4. If you are arrested, you have a right to a lawyer and a trial. Do not allow the police to bully or pressure you to sign away your rights or agree to a plea bargain without talking to a lawyer first. If you cannot afford a lawyer, say so and one will be provided.

5. Never lie to the Police, just remain SILENT!

What to say when speaking with Police:

  •  “I wish to remain silent.” (do not incriminate yourself)
  •  “Am I being detained?” (if you are not being detained then the conversation is over, but just in case say the next line)
  •  “Am I free to go?” (if yes, then leave)
  • “I do not consent.” (use this at all times when the Police do something that you do not agree with ex: They search you even after you say no).

Always be polite, say as little as you can, sign nothing and do your best to avoid the police. The police are out to bust you, and you gain nothing by helping them.

If students’ rights are violated please have them contact the ACLU Club [email protected].

We are not lawyers nor will we be providing any legal service.

About the Author


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