Best Number to Call When the Police Swear You Don't Need a Lawyer

1-800-529-7374

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The decisions made by suspects in their first hours in custody often come back to haunt them. They may not know their constitutional rights or how to invoke them; they can be tricked into waiving their right to consult with a lawyer and their right to remain silent. Since 1995, First Defense Legal Aid has sought to ensure that decisions made by suspects in police stations are informed ones. The nonprofit provides free lawyers to anyone held by Chicago police who calls its 24-hour hotline. The hotline is staffed by more than a hundred volunteer lawyers who each take at least one on-call shift a month. FDLA also gives "street law" presentations in schools and to community groups on constitutional rights and how they can be asserted, and, specifically, on what to do if stopped by police or if police ask permission to search.


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