Interacting with Authorities

What if I'm at a permitted protest, and an officer gives me what I believe to be an illegal order?


A well-trained officer may be unlikely to make an illegal order but officers must make decisions in the heat of the moment, and under a great deal of stress and may issue instructions that listeners do not believe to be legal.

* Even if you are legally and constitutionally allowed to be doing what the officer has asked you to stop doing, if you do not follow the officer’s instructions you may still be arrested.

* The best way to preserve the issue for the courts is to politely and consistently assert your rights (ask if you are free to leave, exercise your right to remain silent, and do not consent to a search of your person or things).

* Resist the urge to do things that may escalate the situation (don’t run, don’t physically resist, follow all police instructions, keep your hands visible to officers, don’t argue with police about the rights violation, and don’t provide false identification or information).

The content of this website is for informational purposes only and should not be understood as legal advice. For help with any legal problems or concerns, including those similar to the situations described herein, a licensed attorney should be contacted. The contributors to this site do not claim or guarantee that the information provided is or will be accurate, correct, or effective in any particular situation, and should not serve as a substitute for competent legal counsel.