You may know that you have the right to remain silent when authorities place you under arrest, but do you have a firm understanding of your rights before an arrest occurs? You maintain certain rights when interacting with law enforcement from your car, out in public or in your home. Recognizing and understanding these rights may help you prevent run-ins with authorities from leading to trouble.
Per the American Civil Liberties Union, knowing how to interact with law enforcement may help you reduce risks to yourself. Regardless of where your interactions with law enforcement take place, it pays to remain calm, collected and respectful. Also, know your rights with regard to the following circumstances.
When authorities stop you somewhere public
Aside from giving law enforcement officials your name and identifying information, you have the right to remain silent when stopped by authorities in public. You do not have to answer any questions about where you are heading, where you came from, your country of origin or anything else.
When authorities come to your home
Unless authorities have a warrant, do not feel as if you must let them enter your home when they knock. If they say they do have a warrant, ask to see it before opening the door. You have to let them in when they have a warrant, but you have the right to remain silent when they enter. It may serve you well to exercise it.
When authorities stop your car
You also retain the right to remain silent when stopped in your car. Make sure you tell authorities who stop you that you are exercising it, should you wish to do so. Any passengers you have there with you also have this right.