How To Protect Your Rights At Traffic Stops
The job of a police officer is to protect and serve the public; however, they can also make arrests. If the police officer stops you on the street or if he knocks on your home because you might have information regarding a case, are you required to talk to the police officer and answer his questions? What happens if you don’t? Can you insist that you need the presence of a lawyer?
Generally, a police officer won’t talk to you unless you are suspected to be involved in a particular crime. However, if you commit a traffic offense like running the red light, you will be requested to present some form of identification like your driver’s license. You can be arrested and the passengers will be ordered out of the car. If it is suspected that you or a passenger is carrying illegal weapons, all of you can be frisked or pat-down for suspected weapons.
Police officers do not normally search cars during a routine traffic stop except if they have a warrant or a “reasonable belief” that weapons or other pieces of evidence of a crime are inside the vehicle and that the passengers might destroy the evidences. If there is no probable cause, police officers cannot use a traffic stop as a reason for an extensive search. However, during emergencies like a car accident where people are injured, a warrantless search of the car may be justified.
At routine traffic stops, police officers can briefly question the driver and the passengers about certain matters that are unrelated to the particular traffic stop for sobriety, narcotics, and illegal immigrants. Traffic stops are common near the border crossings. They are legal provided that the police officers follow the same procedures required for all motorists on the route and they do not discriminate against particular ethnicities.
If you have any questions regarding your rights when talking to police officers, call MyDefence as soon as possible to help you understand and protect your rights. You do not have to answer questions or consent to searches until you have consulted a lawyer. Any information that you provide may be used against you.