Public Defender: Know Your Rights If Arrested This Weekend

San Francisco— In advance of several protests across the Bay Area this weekend, San Francisco Public Defenders are reminding residents of their legal rights if detained or arrested by law enforcement.

“Attending a protest doesn’t mean you give up your right to due process. In fact, this right is at the core of our national values,” said San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi. “We want to make Bay Area residents leave these actions with both their safety and civil rights intact.”

If you make contact with the law enforcement:

  • Remain calm
  • Don’t argue or negotiate as an individual
  • Don’t touch an officer

If you are stopped, detained or arrested by law enforcement:

  • Ask if you are free to go
  • If you are not free to go, you should truthfully identify yourself (unless you want to spend extra time in jail)
  • You have the right to remain silent and not answer questions (note: jail calls are recorded)
  • You have the right to speak with a lawyer

What do I say?

  • Am I free to go?
  • I want to remain silent

Employees of the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office will wear safety vests identifying themselves as legal observers during Saturday’s action at Crissy Field in San Francisco. Legal observers document and record incidents and the activities of law enforcement in relation to demonstrator, from use of force to denying access to public areas.