You and the Police – Know Your Rights
If you are ever arrested, you have legal rights that are guaranteed by law. Knowing your rights can help if you are ever arrested.
What the Police Might Do
  • The Police can arrest you at any time.
  • No advance warnings might be given.
  • The Police can search your premises with a search warrant.
What Are Your Rights
  • You are presumed innocent upon arrest until you are proven to be guilty.
  • You must be told of your offence in the language you speak on arrest.
  • You have a right to be treated courteously by the Police even when you have been arrested.
  • You have the right to refuse a search of your premises without a warrant calmly and politely.
  • Unless you resist arrest unnecessarily, the Police don’t have the right to use any violence at all in effecting your arrest.
  • You have a right to ask for a lawyer of your choice.
  • You have a right to be brought before court within 48 hours of your arrest unless you are sooner released.
  • You have a right to institute legal proceedings against the police when you are kept longer.
  • You have a right (if you decide to speak) to make your statement in the presence of an independent witness.
  • You have a right to write a statement yourself if you can write.
  • You have the right to speak in any language of your choice if you can’t write, and the Police must have an interpreter.
  • Whatever you say and whatever is recorded must be read over and explained to you in a language you speak and understand.
  • You must agree to the wording of the final document of your statement before you sign it.
  • Remember you are not a prisoner while in custody and therefore you cannot be made to do any form of forced labour.
  • You have a right not to make any statement at the Police Station until you talk to a lawyer (preferably your lawyer) or are brought before the court.

Who to Call

Here are the numbers of some Human Rights groups that can help you know your Rights, and may be able to provide advocacy services:

CHRAJ – Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice

Old Parliament House, High Street, Accra
Tel (Accra Office): 030 222 7111

CHRI – Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative




Tel: 0277-754247 / 028-9108829

Email: cepehrg@ /