If you’ve ever been pulled over while driving, you’re probably familiar with the feeling of anxiety that comes along with it. In such a situation, it’s easy to overlook your rights as you get overwhelmed by the officer’s authority. However, it’s important to remember that you have certain rights during a traffic stop, which include:
The right to remain silent
This is perhaps the most important right to remember during a traffic stop. You don’t need to answer any questions the officer asks you, and you can refuse to consent to a search of your vehicle. You can also ask for a criminal defense lawyer if you’re arrested.
If you choose to remain silent, be sure to do so politely and respectfully. Don’t argue with the officer or get into a confrontation.
The right to an attorney
If you’re arrested, you have the right to request a criminal defense attorney. The officer should stop questioning you once you ask for a lawyer. A lawyer is important to have during an arrest, as they can help protect your rights and guide you through the criminal justice system. For instance, they can help you decide whether to take a plea deal or go to trial.
The right to ask for a search warrant
If the police want to conduct a search of your vehicle without your consent, they need probable cause to do so. As such, you can ask them whether or not they have a search warrant. If they don’t have one and proceed with the search anyway, anything illegal that’s found during it cannot get used as evidence against you.
Remember to lower the chances of getting yourself into trouble
When a police officer stops you, stop the car and turn off the engine. Keep your hands on the wheel and wait for the officer to come to your window. Be respectful and compliant, and don’t argue with the officer or try to flee.
If you’re stopped for a traffic violation, remember your rights and stay calm. If you have any questions, ask the officer politely. Knowing your rights and doing the right thing can help keep you out of trouble during a traffic stop.