What to do if you are stopped or arrested by police

It is important to know your rights if you are stopped by a police or immigration officer or if you are arrested by police. If you are questioned by law enforcement, be polite and respectful. takoto rawa e, tautohe, pato'ii te, or run away.

police car in USA
Photo courtesy of Dave Conner/Wikimedia Commons

I roto i te USA, the police are generally good and want to help you. But you should know your rights. You have rights even if you are not a US citizen. You should know that law enforcement officers may briefly hold and question you if they suspect you were involved in a crime. They might do this even if there are not enough reasons to arrest you.

Your rights if you are stopped in a car or arrested by police while in a car

  • E koe te tika ki te noho puku, me te kore whakautu i ngā pātai.
  • When receiving a citation (a ticket for speeding, hei tauira) you must provide your driver’s license, rīanga, and vehicle registration if requested.
  • Ka taea e te rangatira ui koe ki te manga i roto o te motokā. You should do what they ask.
  • Police are not allowed to check the car unless there is “probable cause.”
  • You do not have the right to leave if the officer tells you to stay.
  • A pat down is typically a surface search done over your clothes. It can happen if the officer has a reason to believe there is something suspicious happening, otiia e kore ia ranei ia e taea te haere i roto i o koutou whitiki. I roto i te rapu, they have a more thorough method where they might search under your clothes. E ture whakaaetia koe ki te paopao ki e rua o ratou.

Your rights if you are arrested by police or taken to a police station

  • If you are arrested by police, you have the right to remain silent and talk to a lawyer.
  • E whakaaetia koe ki te hanga 3 waea i roto i 3 haora o te pae hopukina.
  • Ka taea e koe te korero ki te pirihimana mōhiohio taketake e pā ana ki a koe, engari kore ake ra ano tae mai to koutou rōia.
  • Kaua e aparau i to koutou tūnga manene ki te tangata, engari koutou rōia.

Your rights if a police officer wants to search your home or car

  • e kore e whakaaetia uruhi ture ki te rapu i tou whare, kahore koutou e whakaae he whakamana rapu ranei. A warrant is a legal document that gives them permission to search. Ki te he atu i te kāinga koe, Ka taea e te pirihimana rapu tou whare, ki te te tahi mau whakaaetanga atu ki reira.
  • e kore e tukua e koe ki tetahi rangatira tomo koutou whare te kore whai ratou he whakamana.
  • kia te whakamana kia hainatia e te kaiwhakawa.
  • If an officer insists on entering without a warrant, do not resist. You can say that you do not allow it, Na karanga tonu te rōia.

The Supreme Court only allows a law enforcement officer to enter a house without knocking if they have “a reasonable suspicion”. This means that they think something illegal might be happening. They also think that showing they are there might be dangerous or might allow the suspect to destroy any evidence.

ētahi atu pārongo hoki ki te āwhina i matau koe koutou tika, taea e koe read our “e mohio ana koutou tika” information. It was prepared in partnership with Church World Services, which offers low-cost legal services to immigrants.

Questions and answers about being detained or arrested by police

Here are some answers to questions you may have about being stopped or arrested.

E whai ahau ki te whakautu i ngā pātai ka ui e te uruhi ture?

E koe te tika ture ki te noho puku kia kore koe e hiahia ana ki te whakautu i ngā pātai. e kore koe e whai ki te kōrero ki tetahi rangatira ranei tetahi atu. It is a good idea to talk to a lawyer before answering any questions. Mea atu ki te āpiha pirihimana e kore koutou whiriwhiri ki te whakahoki kupu. Engari kia whakaute, me te faka'apa'apa nui taea tonu.

How should I behave if I am stopped in my car?

Try to move slowly and make sure you always keep your hands visible to the officer. Kaua e whakauaua atu i te pae tino i te pōpō ki raro ranei rapu. Engari mea, “I do not consent to a search.” Ask the officer if you are free to leave, a ki te ta te rangatira ae, then leave calmly. Heoi, if the officer says no, you must stay. Kaua rawa e rere atu, and keep your hands visible all the time.

He aha te ki te ahau tukinotia ahau kino e āpiha uruhi ture?

E koe te tika ki te ui i te rangatira mo tona mōhiohio pēnei i tona ingoa, me te tohu tau. Whakamātauria ki te kitea kaiwhakaatu me te mea e whara koe tango pikitia rite wawe tonu. Karangatia he rōia koutou tika tangata tari tiaki rohe ranei.

Do I have to show my immigration documents if I am arrested by police?

Non-tangata e he 18 tau pakeke ranei kia kawe ratou tuhinga ki ratou i nga wa katoa. If you are undocumented and cannot show US immigration documents, Ka taea e koe te whiriwhiri e kore ki te whakautu i ngā pātai e pā ana ki to koutou tūnga. These questions might include “Are you a citizen?"ranei, "Hea e koe i?” Do not lie about your status, engari hei utu mo te mea e koutou e kore whiriwhiri ki te whakahoki kupu.

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