In the United States every citizen has the legal right to assemble and engage in peaceful protests as stated in the First Amendment. Though citizens have freedom of speech during protests, their rights do come with certain conditions since the government has the responsibility to maintain peace and public order.
If you have participated in any protest and faced problems with any police officer, you can hire a criminal defense lawyer to settle the issue. You can prevent getting caught in the wrong side of law by educating yourself about the rights of a citizen when it comes to organizing and participating in protests.
Know your rights as a protestor
Protests held in public property
- You have no restriction when taking part in a peaceful protest and have total freedom of speech
- You require a permit to protest only if your protest obstructs traffic.
- A protest cannot be denied citing reasons that it conveys controversial opinions
- You can photograph the protest
Protests held in private property
- The property owner set rules for the speech.
- The property owner decides rules for photography
When being a part of a protest avoid carrying drugs even in minimal amounts as it could earn you more charges in case you are arrested by the police. Hire a drug defense attorney if you find yourself in the fateful situation. Never physically resist an officer and remain calm even if you detained during the protests. Police can detain you only based on reasonable suspicions.
There could be instances when a person’s rights are violated. If you believe the police have violated your rights during the protest, make note of the officer’s details and write down the details of the incident. Take pictures of injuries if any and hire a juvenile attorney to take it legally to court.