The Hive Law

39 Rights Police Don’t Want You To Know About

Rights Police Don't Want You To Know

What are the rights police don’t want you to know about?

In this article, you’ll learn about your rights when you are:

  • getting stopped in public by police
  • asked questions by police
  • getting pulled over by police
  • having cops show up to your house
  • getting arrested
  • faced with cops asking to enter your home
  • recording police or having police record you
  • getting brought in for questioning

… and much more.

Let’s dig in.

Table of Contents

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Summary Of Rights Police Don't Want You To Know

  • You do not have to tell cops where you are headed.
  • You do not have to answer any questions a cop asks you.
  • You do not have to show your ID to cops in public if you’re not driving.
  • A cop cannot pull you over for no reason. They have to have probable cause.
  • Police cannot come to your house multiple times without justifiable cause.
  • Police cannot damage your vehicle or property during a search.
  • Police cannot enter and arrest you in your home without an arrest warrant.
  • Police cannot bring you in for questioning without a warrant to do so.
  • Police cannot search your phone during an arrest without an arrest warrant.
  • Police cannot take your phone without permission for an investigation without a warrant.
  • Without probable cause, police have to show you an arrest warrant before arresting you.
  • Police cannot record without permission in your home or office in two-party consent states.
  • Cops cannot use evidence gathered during questioning if they don’t read you your rights.
  • Passengers do not have to show police their ID (except in 6 states).
  • Police cannot open your car door without your permission.
  • You do not have to open the door for police (unless they have a warrant).
  • You can tell cops to get off your property if they don’t have a warrant.
  • Police cannot enter private property without permission.
  • You have the right to see and read the arrest warrant before you’re arrested.
  • You are legally allowed to follow a cop.

Rights You Need To Know About Police Interactions

  • Police do not have to tell you why they pulled you over.
  • A cop can follow you for however long they deem necessary.
  • You must get out of your car if the police ask you to.
  • You cannot defend yourself against a cop.
  • You have to identify yourself to the police.
  • It’s illegal to not have an ID on you.
  • You have to show your ID to cops when you’re driving a vehicle.
  • You have to comply with police orders.
  • Police are not legally required to identify themselves.
  • Police can detain you without telling you why.
  • Police can let you go and arrest you at a later date.
  • You cannot tell a cop to “f off.”

Deep Dive Into Rights Police Don't Want You To Know

There are 5 main categories for this topic. 

These are the rights police don’t want you to know in the following situations:

Police Stop You In Public

Can You Defend Yourself Against A Cop?

No, you cannot defend yourself against a cop.

Defending yourself against a cop is likely going to be physical or verbal resistance.

Getting charged with resistance will be a misdemeanor.

You can get fines and jail time for defending yourself against a cop.

Do You Have To Identify Yourself To The Police?

Yes, you have to identify yourself to the police.

In most states, all you have to do is provide a name and address, if asked.

In other states, you have to provide your date of birth and driver’s license.

It’s the law that you have to provide identification if you’re suspected of a crime.

In California, you could get fined up to $1,000 for not identifying yourself to the police.

Do You Have To Tell A Cop Where You Are Going?

No, you do not have to tell a cop where you are going.

If you don’t tell the police where you are going, they may start asking more questions.

They want to determine the reasons for your travels or why you’re in the area.

You don’t have to answer any of these questions if you don’t want to.

You have the right to remain silent.

It is not mandatory that you answer the police’s questions.

Can You Refuse To Show ID To The Police?

Yes, you have the right to refuse to show your ID to the police.

But, in some states, you are legally required to show ID if you are in a vehicle, like:

  • Alaska
  • California
  • Idaho
  • Louisiana
  • Minnesota
  • New Mexico
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Virginia

Refusing to show your ID while in a vehicle in these states gets you fines and an arrest.

But, if you’re out in public, you can refuse to show your ID to the police.

These are one of the rights police don’t want you to know about.

They want you to feel like you have to show them your ID.

Do You Have To Tell The Police Your Name?

Whether you have to tell the police your name depends on the state you live in.

The states that require you to tell the police your name are:

  • Alabama
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • North Dakota
  • Oklahoma
  • Rhode Island
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Utah
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Nebraska
  • New Hampshire
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia

For states that do require you to tell the police your name:

You have to tell them your name so they can properly identify you.

And so they can check for:

  • outstanding warrants
  • criminal records

For states that don’t require you to tell the police your name:

These states don’t require you to tell the police your name it’s based on the Fifth Amendment.

This protects citizens from self-incrimination when talking to law enforcement officers.

These constitutional rights keep you from potentially self-incriminating yourself.

Is It Illegal To Not Have ID On You?

Yes, it’s illegal to not have an ID on you.

It’s illegal to not have your ID on you when you’re:

  • traveling
  • driving
  • going into some public places

Public places where it’s illegal to not have your ID on you are:

  • airports
  • banks
  • government facilities
  • courthouses
  • bars and other alcohol-serving establishments
  • secure buildings (i.e., military bases and embassies)
  • border crossings
  • public transportation systems (i.e., buses and trains)
  • state and national parks
  • public libraries
  • hospitals and medical offices
  • pharmacies

This is different than you having to show ID to the police or tell them your name.

You are not legally required to show your ID to officers in public if you are:

  • stopped
  • detained
  • questioned

Some public places have the ability to force you to show your ID to enter or stay.

Do You Have To Comply With Police Orders?

Yes, you have to comply with police orders.

If you don’t comply, you could face criminal charges like:

  • resisting arrest
  • obstruction of justice
  • disobeying a lawful order

You don’t have to comply if the police orders are unlawful.

Let’s say you’re stopped and searched without reasonable suspicion or probable cause.

This is an example of an unlawful order you wouldn’t have to comply with.

But, it’s there legitimately can’t be reasonable suspicion or probable cause.

If you wrongly assume there isn’t any and don’t comply, you’ll get criminal charges.

Do Police Have To Identify Themselves?

No, police are not legally required to identify themselves.

A lot of police departments have rules stating their police officers have to identify themselves.

But, it’s not a law that they have to identify themselves.

Getting Pulled Over By Police

Can A Cop Pull You Over For No Reason?

No, a cop cannot pull you over for no reason.

A cop can only pull someone over if there is probable cause.

Meaning there is reasonable suspicion that:

  • a crime has been committed
  • a crime is about to get committed

What should you do if you think a cop pulled you over for no reason?

You should remain calm and politely ask if you are being detained or free to go.

But a better approach is to ask why you were pulled over.

So that you can better understand the situation.

When a cop pulls you over for no reason, you can:

  • document the incident with notes and photos
  • ask to speak with their supervisor

Documenting police encounters means getting information like:

  • the patrol car numbers
  • the police officers’ badge numbers

Police Damaged My Car During Search

If the police damaged your car during a search, you have the right to file a complaint.

You can file a complaint with the police station.

The police department will investigate the damages.

The police station may:

  • suspend or terminate the police officer
  • give you money for repairing the damages

Some police don’t want you to know about these rights.

They will damage your car during the search and try to get away with it.

Read More: Police Let Me Go After Finding Drugs

Can Police Ask You Where You Are Going?

Yes, the police can ask you where you are going.

But, you do not have to tell them where you are going.

The police can ask you for a reasonable explanation for your whereabouts.

Especially if they suspect that there is any criminal activity going on.

Do Police Have To Tell You Why They Pulled You Over?

No, the police do not have to tell you why they pulled you over.

But, they cannot pull you over without a reason.

Sometimes, they won’t tell you why they pulled you over.

You will still need to comply with their instructions to avoid getting criminal charges.

But, you should either:

  • ask them if they are detaining you or if you’re free to go
  • consider filing a complaint with the police department or an attorney

Do Passengers Have To Show ID In A Traffic Stop?

Whether passengers have to show their ID in a traffic stop depends on the state.

The following states require passengers to show ID in a traffic stop:

  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Iowa
  • New Jersey
  • North Carolina
  • Texas

In the remaining states, passengers may not have to show their ID in a traffic stop.

But, a passenger not showing their ID could be a failure to comply.

This can land the passenger with misdemeanor charges in some states.

It’s easier to just show your ID to the officer than chance breaking the law.

How Long Can A Cop Follow You?

A cop can follow you however long they deem reasonable.

They will follow you until they think you’re no longer suspicious of criminal activity.

Can A Police Officer Open Your Car Door Without Permission?

No, a police officer cannot open your car door without your permission.

It would be a violation of your Fourth Amendment rights.

Do I Have To Get Out Of My Car For The Police?

Yes, you have to get out of your car for the police.

They will ask you to get out of the car if they believe you are involved in criminal activity.

Refusing to get out of the car for the police is a failure to comply.

This can get you arrested or a citation.

Police Are At Your Door

Do You Have To Answer The Door For Police?

No, you do not have to open the door for the police.

Homeowners have the right to remain silent and refuse to open the door.

The only reason you’d get in trouble for not opening the door is if they have a search warrant.

The police can force their way into your house if:

  • they have a search warrant
  • someone needs emergency medical attention

This is a common right police don’t want you to know.

They will try to get in without a warrant by making up something.

Can You Tell Cops To Get Off Your Property?

Yes, you can tell cops to get off your property.

But, they have a right to be on your property if they:

  • have a warrant (i.e., search warrant, arrest warrant, probation violation)
  • have reasonable suspicion of criminal activity

They can use reasonable force to gain access to your property if they think:

  • you are interfering with an investigation
  • are endangering other people or yourself

Your ability to tell cops to get off your property is a right police don’t want you to know.

Can Police Enter Private Property Without Permission?

Police cannot enter private property without permission.

Police can only enter private property without permission if they:

  • have a warrant (i.e., search warrant, arrest warrant, probation violation)
  • have reasonable suspicion of criminal activity
  • someone needs emergency medical attention

Cops can enter private property if criminal activities are happening in plain view.

Leaving evidence of a crime out in plain view is things like:

How Many Times Can Police Come To Your House?

Police can come to your house as many times as they want if they have a legitimate reason.

If they show up without justifiable cause, you need to know your rights.

Reach out to an attorney so that you can figure out what your legal rights are.

A criminal defense attorney can file a complaint with the local police station.

This will minimize how many times police come to your house without a justifiable cause.

What Happens If Police Damage Your Property During A Search?

If the police damaged your property during a search, you have the right to file a complaint.

You can file a complaint with the police station.

The police department will investigate the property damages.

The police station may:

  • suspend or terminate the police officer
  • give you money for repairing the damages

Some police don’t want you to know about these rights.

They will damage your property during the search and try to get away with it.

Can A Cop Go Into Your Backyard?

Yes, a cop can go into your backyard if:

  • they have a reasonable suspicion that a crime is occurring
  • it is necessary to perform their duties
  • they have a search warrant

If they don’t have any of these, then, no, a cop cannot go into your backyard.

Can Police Arrest You In Your Home?

No, police cannot arrest you in your home without an arrest warrant.

Even if police know you committed a crime and that you’re home, they still need a warrant.

Once they have the arrest warrant, they can arrest you in your home.

What Are Your Rights When Arrested?

Can Police Bring You In For Questioning Without A Warrant?

No, the police cannot bring you in for questioning without a warrant.

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects U.S. citizens from:

  • unreasonable searches
  • seizures

This includes getting brought in for questioning without a warrant.

Police can only get a warrant to bring you in for questioning if:

  • they have a valid reason to believe that a crime has been committed
  • someone is in danger

Can You Record While Being Detained?

Whether you can record while being detained depends on the state that you live in.

In two-party states, it’s illegal to record someone without their permission.

In one-party states, it’s perfectly legal to record someone while being detained.

Can Police Search Your Phone When Arrested?

No, police cannot search your phone when they are arresting you.

The only way police can search your phone during an arrest is if they have an arrest warrant.

Without a warrant, you have protection from unreasonable searches and seizures.

This is a right the police don’t want you to know.

They will try to get you to consent to them searching your phone.

Can You Be Detained Without Being Told Why?

Yes, you can get detained without being told why by the police.

The U.S. Supreme Court gives officers this right over U.S. citizens.

They only need “reasonable suspicion” that criminal activity is happening to detain someone.

If Police Let You Go Can They Charge You Later?

Yes, the police can charge you later if they let you go.

This happens if they are in the investigation phase.

They may need to gather more evidence before charging you with a crime.

Do Police Have To Show You An Arrest Warrant?

Yes, police have to show you an arrest warrant.

And you have the right to see and read the arrest warrant before you’re arrested.

They can arrest you without showing you an arrest warrant.

But ONLY if they have probable cause to make an arrest.

Some examples of probable cause would be:

  • them witnessing the crime
  • them responding to a distressed call for criminal activity

Civil Rights Violations By Police

How Long Can Police Keep Your Phone For Investigation?

Police can keep your phone for a few months for an investigation.

The complexity of the investigation really determines how long they will keep your phone.

Examples of more complex investigations are larger scale:

  • criminal enterprises
  • organized crime
  • terrorism
  • fraud

Police will take your phone for investigations into:

  • drug dealing
  • missing persons
  • tracking movements of criminal suspects

They are going to be looking for:

  • emails, texts, phone calls, and voicemails pertaining to criminal activity
  • phone numbers and contact information of the arrestee’s accomplices

Can The Police Take Your Phone Without Permission?

Generally, no, police cannot take your phone without permission.

They can request access to your phone, but you do not have to give them permission.

They can only take your phone without permission if:

  • there is a reasonable suspicion that the phone contains evidence of a criminal act
  • they have a warrant or if the person is arrested

Can A Citizen Pull Over A Cop?

No, a citizen cannot pull over a cop.

Only another law enforcement officer has the authority to pull over a cop.

Can Police Record You Without Permission?

Police cannot record you without permission in two-party consent states.

In one-party consent states, police can record you without permission.

It’s illegal for police to record you in an area where you have a reasonable expectation of privacy.

This includes places like your home or inside your place of work.

Can You Tell A Police Officer To F Off?

No, you cannot tell a police officer to “F off.”

This can lead to getting a misdemeanor, felony, fines, or jail time.

Telling a police officer to “F off” can either be:

  • disorderly conduct
  • a threat
  • an act of violence

The most common charges for these are misdemeanors for:

  • disturbing the peace
  • assault and battery

These charges could get upgraded to felonies depending on the situation.

Is It Illegal To Follow A Cop?

No, it is not illegal to follow a police officer.

As long as it is done in a safe, legal, and respectful manner.

Do Cops Have To Read You Your Rights?

Yes, cops have to read you your Miranda rights.

The “Miranda warning” informs you of your legal rights like:

  • the right to remain silent
  • the right to an attorney
  • the right to have an attorney appointed if they cannot afford one

Evidence that police collect is not admissible to the courts if they don’t read you your rights.

Meaning the prosecution cannot use this evidence to prove your guilt.

This is true even if cops have a warrant against you.

The Miranda warning is based on the 1966 U.S. Supreme Court case Miranda v. Arizona.

Notes About Rights Police Don’t Want You To Know

This article is not legal advice.

If you believe your rights have been violated, fill out the form on this page.

Our law firm has experience protecting the rights of U.S. citizens against police.

Talk soon.

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