Lesson 3: Legal Rights for Youth

Topic 2: Street Freedoms

Youth Rights: On the Street

  • You do not have to give the police officer your name and address if you are just walking (it is different if you are driving).  However, it is helpful to be courteous. If you do not give your name and address, and the officer suspects you of a crime, you can be arrested.
  • You do not have to give the police officer your age, but it is a good idea to do so as it lets the officer know that you are a youth.
  • After you have been courteous and given your name, address, and age, you do not have to give any other information to police.  You can tell the police officer, “I want to remain silent.”
  • You can be detained (held by police) for a short period of time if a police officer or other person believes you may be involved in a crime.  If you are “detained” you are not free to go until the police say so. 
  • If you ask, “Am I free to go?” and the police officer says no, you are being detained.  You have the right to be told why you are being detained. Remember the reason the police officer gives you.
  • Get the badge number and/or the name of the police officer. This helps to ensure that the person is in fact a police officer and it will be helpful if you decide later that you want to make a complaint.

Scenario from “Street Freedoms” Video

A youth is being stopped by police. Sav is waiting at the bus stop when police approach and ask him questions. View the video on the LegalRights4U website.