Youth Justice: Youth and the Police

What are your rights when approached by the police?

You have the right to:

  • Not be stopped or searched without reason.
  • Not be searched or arrested without probable cause.
  • Refuse to talk to police
  • Get a lawyer and speak to a lawyer BEFORE speaking to the police.

What is consent?

Consent means you give the police permission to do something like ask you questions, or search your body, house, or car.

You do NOT have to give consent. You can politely tell the officer that you:

  • Do not agree
  • Do not consent to a search
  • Do not consent to questions

If officers begin to search you anyway, do NOT try to physically stop them.

If you believe a police officer’s actions were illegal or wrong, you can file a complaint.

Use as much detail as possible, including:

  • Date, time & location
  • Identity of the officers (if known, badge # or car #)
  • Events surrounding your complaint
  • Your name and phone #