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What are your rights if you’re pulled over by police?

On Behalf of | Jun 3, 2024 | Driving Offenses

Being pulled over by the police is a stressful experience for most people. If you’re the subject of a traffic stop, it’s typically best if you know your rights. This can help you to know what you should and shouldn’t do. It can also give you an idea of what police officers should and shouldn’t do.

One thing to remember is that you should comply with reasonable orders, such as keeping your hands visible. You should also remain calm and respectful throughout the interaction, as your safety needs to be your top priority.

You have the right to remain silent

Police officers will often ask a series of questions, such as where you’re coming from or where you’re going. You don’t have to answer those questions. There are specific things you have to provide to the officer. These include:

  • Proof of vehicle insurance
  • Proof of the vehicle’s registration
  • Proof of your identity, such as a state driver’s license or ID card

As you’re speaking to the officers, remember that you must tell the truth about matters like your identity. Providing false information could lead to legal charges.

You have the right to refuse unlawful searches

While motor vehicles have a lower expectation of privacy than a home, it might be possible for police officers to search a vehicle without a warrant. Still, they may ask if you consent to a search just so they can protect themselves against claims of an illegal search. You have the right to refuse that request.

Remember, officers might be able to search your vehicle if they arrest you. This is almost always the case if they see illegal items or evidence of a crime in the vehicle. They may opt to impound the vehicle so they can obtain a search warrant without having to worry about the destruction of evidence.

Your rights can play an important role in your defense strategy, so discuss these matters with your legal representative. They can help you to determine how to proceed with developing your defense against any charges you’re facing. Simply because a stop has not progressed as it should have does not mean that you lack options.