What are your rights during a traffic stop?
Getting pulled over by the police can be a frightening event. If you get stopped or pulled over by the police while driving in Florida, it is important to understand what your rights are. Knowing what rights you have may help you feel calm and confident, which may help you conduct yourself in a way that minimizes the legal consequences of the traffic stop.
In general, it’s important to try to remain calm and act in a polite, nonthreatening manner. Most experts recommend staying in your car, turning on the interior light, rolling down the window and placing your hands on the steering wheel. This may indicate that you are not hiding a weapon or threatening violence when the police officer comes to talk with you. In most cases, the police officer will ask you for your driver’s license, insurance card and vehicle registration. Providing these documents in a calm manner may reduce the chance of the situation escalating.
You also have the right to record an encounter with the police. You may use a smartphone or other recording device during a traffic stop as long as you do it in a way that does not interfere with the police officer’s ability to investigate. It is worth noting that you also have the right to record a traffic stop if you are a passenger in the vehicle.
This information on your rights during a traffic stop is general in nature and is intended to educate; it should not be taken as legal advice.