Guide to How Law Enforcement Can Treat You in San Francisco
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 San Francisco 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 San Francisco, 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.
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 SFPD officer, contact California Dept of Justice); or the U.S. Department of Justice
- Find a criminal defense attorney or civil rights attorney
See all Legal Guides