Miami Legal Tips Blog

Know your rights as a protestor

protesting-rights-constitutionSometimes when people think that their voice or community is not heard, they take part in protests in America. This is every citizen’s right in this country where we enjoy and cherish freedom of speech.

Know the rules. Has there been a permit issued for your protest? Is one needed? This can drastically effect what the police can ask of you while you are protesting, as well as what they can arrest you for. Usually permits are only needed for the largest protests that can effect traffic or are excessively loud. Some public places also require permits for demonstrations on the grounds. Oftentimes, permits are required to be filled and submitted weeks before the event, but these requirements are illegal if enacted after news events concerning a prospective protest.

Open public areas are generally considered the legal location of a protest. Be careful if you are invited to a protest which attempts to engage within a business or restricted location, as this in itself can be grounds for arrest for trespassing. The same is true for private property. You have to follow the rules of the landowner. You can often protest in many public areas if you don’t get in the way too much.

If you are stopped by the police while protesting, stay calm, keep your hands visible, and have your ID handy for when they ask for it. Do not resist if an officer places you under arrest, but remember that you do not have to submit to a search if you do not give cause.

If you feel that you have been or are being mistreated, do your best to stay calm. The street is not a good place to voice these concerns. Contact a lawyer at the first opportunity. Write down everything that happened, find witnesses and photograph any injuries. If you do these things, you will probably be Ok in a protest.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *