Do You Know Your Constitutional Rights?

  • You have the right to remain silent. If you wish to exercise this right, you must say so out loud and be clear and concise. “I want to remain silent.” If questioned about remaining silent, a safe and proper response would be “I want to remain silent, and I want a lawyer now.” You need to understand that some law enforcement officers may try to talk you out of exercising your right to remain silent and talk you into waiving your rights. DO NOT engage police in conversation. Announce your intent to remain silent out loud, ask for a lawyer, and then do not speak about any other topic.
  • You have the right to refuse to consent to a search of your person, your home, and your property. Remember, you cannot control what law enforcement agencies actually do, or how they act, but you are not required to grant access to your home voluntarily. If asked to consent to a search of your home or person, you should not ask why or engage in conversation with police, just simply say “No, I do not give consent to search” or words to that effect.
  • If you are not under arrest, you have the right to calmly walk away. You are allowed to ask a police officer if you are under arrest and if you are free to leave or go away. If the police officer says yes, then calmly turn and walk silently away. If told you are not free to leave, you still have the right to remain silent, and the right to have a lawyer. Remember, to get the protection of your right to remain silent, you must announce that you want to remain silent to the police out loud.
  • You have the right to a lawyer before questioning by police, and if you are arrested. Ask for a lawyer immediately upon being arrested. Also advise that you wish to remain silent. NOTE: In Florida, a Driver suspected of DUI does not have the right to speak with a lawyer at roadside or prior to a breath test.
  • You have constitutional rights regardless of your immigration status.