Do You Know Your Rights When Stopped by Police?

You were travelling along 64 the other night on your way home from a friend’s house. As you were about to enter the tunnel, you heard the sirens and saw the lights of a police car in your rearview mirror. You were not sure why the car signaled for you to pull over, because you knew you weren’t speeding or breaking the law in any way.

The police officer asked you to roll your window down and hand over your license and registration. You obliged, but then he asked you to get out of your vehicle so he could search it. Was he allowed to do this? Did you have the right to say no?

Your Rights During a Traffic Stop

Although you don’t want to cause trouble, you also want to stand up for your rights during a traffic stop. Knowing your rights could prevent you from wrongly being accused of something you didn’t do. Being aware of the following legal rights can help you if you find yourself in this situation:

  • You are protected from incriminating yourself. You have the right to remain silent during a traffic stop and you should exercise that right if you believe you will incriminate yourself if you say anything. However, make sure you tell the officer about your intentions to stay silent.
  • You can decline a search. If the police officer asks to search your car, you have the right to say “no.” The police cannot search your car unless they believe evidence of a crime is located in your vehicle. If this is the case, they can search your vehicle without your consent.
  • Passengers can leave. If you are a passenger in a vehicle, you can ask the officer if you are allowed to leave. If he says yes, you can either sit quietly or calmly leave. If he says no, you can exercise your right to remain silent.

Tavss Fletcher Can Fight For You

If you believe your rights were violated, or you were arrested without cause, Tavss Fletcher may be able to help. Contact us today to find out how.