Know Your Rights

Know Your Rights: On The Street, At Home And In The Car


Your Rights on the Street:


  • If you are approached by a police officer, you should always ask the police officer if you can go.
  • If the officer says you can go you have the right to remain silent and you should leave immediately.
  • If the police officer says you cannot go, give the officer your name. You do not have to give them any other information. You do not have to give them your address. You do not have to give them your immigration status.
  • If an immigration agent says you cannot go and asks for your immigration papers you must give them to him if you have them with you. If you do not have your papers with you, say you do not have the papers and say nothing else.


Your Rights at Home:


  • If an immigration agent or police officer knocks on your door you do not have to answer. You do not have open your door. You do not have to allow the agent or officer into your home.
  • An immigration agent or police officer cannot force their way into your home unless they have a search warrant from a court, signed by a judge with your address on it.
  • If immigration agents or police officers knock on your door you do not have to open it. You do not have to let them in your home if you do not want to let them in. Ask the agents or officers, through the closed door if they have a search warrant from a court allowing them to search your home. You have a right to read the warrant.
  • If there is a warrant from an immigration officer with your name on it, you have the right to not allow them into your home. Instead, go outside to see the officers.
  • If you are living in someone else’s home, you still do not have to answer and open the door, unless the agents or officers have a search warrant with the correct address on it.


Your Rights in Your Car:


  • If police officers or immigration agents signal you to stop your car, you must pull over.
  • If police officers or immigration agents ask to search your car, you may refuse to give them permission.
  • Police officers may ask for your name, driver’s license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance. If you have these documents, you must show them when asked.
  • You do not have to show any other documents, share any other information, or answer any other questions.
  • You should NOT answer any police officer’s questions about your immigration status.
  • If a police officer writes up a citation, the officer will ask you to sign the citation. Signing the citation is not an admission of guilt. Signing the citation is just agreeing that you have received it.
  • If immigration agents ask you questions, give them your name and, if you have them, your immigration documents. You do NOT have to answer any questions.
  • If you are a passenger in the car and a police officer or immigration agents questions you, you should ask if you have to answer. If the officer or agent says yes, you have must give your name. You do not have to give any information other than your name.
  • If you find yourself in a situation with police officers or immigration agents always be polite, remain calm, and be truthful and never lie to an officer or agent. Do not carry false ID with you. If you are over 18 and have immigration documents, you should carry them with you always. You should also carry the name and phone number of Attorney John P. Winicov. Keep a copy of all your immigration documents with someone you trust and can call if you are detained.


If you are arrested, do not resist arrest. Give the name or card of your attorney to the immigration agent or police officer. Ask to speak to your attorney. Do not talk about your situation or your status with the agent or officer. Do not sign anything without talking to an attorney. You have the right to an interpreter in your own language. Do not sign anything you do not understand.


If you are ever stopped or questioned by the police on the street, at home or in your car, think before you answer any questions. It is better to say nothing than to lie to a police officer. If you think you might be arrested or if you were arrested then. Contact us online or call us at 610-692-2096 to schedule your initial consultation so that you can learn more about your rights and options.



John P. Winicov conveniently represent clients in Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties. Our office is easily accessible by public transportation.

Member of The Chester County Bar Association

1523 McDaniel Drive | West Chester, PA 19380