Guide to How Law Enforcement Can Treat You in Los Angeles
Most of the rules about what the government or law enforcement can and can’t do to you are made at the federal and state level, so for most of this see our Guide to Laws about Police Conduct in the U.S. and Guide to Laws about Police Conduct in California.
If you feel that any your rights (whether listed below or not) have been violated, we strongly urge you to find a Los Angeles area lawyer who specializes in criminal and constitutional law.
Are the police allowed to kick me off the sidewalk?
Many cities, including the city of Los Angeles, ban sitting or lying on the sidewalk. See our Guide to Public Spaces for more.
To march or assemble on the streets or roads, you will need to get a permit with the city.
For the following questions, see our Guide to Laws about Police Conduct in the U.S.
Do I have the right to take video of police?
Can the police simply take my property whenever they want?
What is Stop and Frisk and is it legal?
Can the police arrest me whenever they feel like it?
What are my rights if I am arrested?
Can the government detain someone indefinitely without convicting them?
Is it illegal for the police to harass me or “rough me up”?
What’s the deal with police shootings?
Exercise Your Rights
- File a complaint with local police (possibly with a different police agency than the one in which the offending officer works, like if it was an LAPD officer, contact LA Sheriff Department, and vice versa); or the U.S. Department of Justice
- Find a criminal defense attorney or civil rights attorney