Julie Borowski

What if law enforcement officers do not have a search warrant but forcibly come in your house anyway? This is a tricky situation and interfering with the search could get you arrested. The best thing you can do is make it clear that you do not consent to the search and write down the badge numbers of the officers. You should file a complaint to the law enforcement office, and contact your lawyer as soon as possible.

Most of us have probably gotten pulled over by a police officer sometime in our life, yet many people are confused as to what level of authority traffic officers hold. You are legally required to show your license and registration. Police officers can ask you more questions, but you are not obligated to answer any of them.

You do not have to consent to any searches. Police can only search your car if you give them consent or they have reasonable cause—facts to support a reasonable belief that criminal activity is likely taking place. Anything you say can be used against you in a court of law.

If you’re stopped on the street, would you know what to do?

You do not have to talk to a police officer, and you cannot be punished for refusing to answer questions. If you ask, “Am I free to go?” and the officer says yes, you may leave the scene.

Whether you are required or not to show ID depends on state law. You do not have to consent to any searches. The police may only pat you down if they have reasonable suspicion that you are guilty of a crime

Knowing and invoking your rights to a government authority does not mean that you are a criminal with anything to hide. These rights restrain government and ensure a free society.

With the government growing bigger every day, knowing our rights is more important than ever- and they will not defend themselves. Our job as American citizens is to actively defend the everyday incremental assaults on our constitutional rights, even if authorities insist “there is nothing to fear if there’s nothing to hide.”

Julie Borowski

Julie Borowski is a Policy Analyst at FreedomWorks, an organization dedicated to lower taxes, less government, and more freedom. Her writings on economic policy have appeared in numerous newspapers and online outlets. She is on the Board of Advisors for the Coalition to Reduce Spending and she launched an independent YouTube channel called TokenLibertarianGirl in June 2011.

She was previously selected to be a Charles G. Koch Summer Fellow with the Institute for Humane Studies where she worked at the Center for Competitive Politics. Most recently, she was a government affairs associate at Americans for Tax Reform.

Julie has volunteered for political candidates in Kentucky and in her home state of Maryland. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Frostburg State University in May 2010 where she studied political science, economics and international studies. She is now located in Washington, D.C.