Any time you get behind the wheel of your car, you’re taking a risk. In addition to the risk of an accident, there’s always a chance you could be pulled over by a police officer. Knowing your rights during a police stop is a must, as this can help protect you against trouble.
What are the three biggest things you need to remember during a traffic stop?
While you do have to comply with the traffic stop and the officer’s orders, you still have rights. Keep in mind:
- You have the right to remain silent: For example, if the officer asks you where you are going, you don’t have to answer them. If you wish to remain silent, state your intentions to the officer. For more on how to exercise your right to remain silent, see our previous post, “Police calling? Investigators at your door? Consult an attorney before you talk to anyone.”
- You have the right to deny a search of your vehicle: You don’t have to give the officer consent to search your vehicle. However, if the officer suspects that you have something illegal on your body, such as a gun or drugs, the officer has a right to search you. The officer may also have reason to search your vehicle if something illegal is in plain view inside the vehicle.
- You have the right to be respectfully arrested: This sounds strange, but it’s important. You should never feel that you’re going to be the subject of a forceful arrest in which you could suffer injuries.
These are just a few of the rights that you have as a driver during a police stop. Understanding these rights goes a long way in helping you protect them.
What can you do after an arrest?
If you’re arrested on drug charges or any other type of charge in Palm Beach County, remain silent and cooperative. Resisting arrest can lead to additional criminal charges.
Once you’re booked and you understand the charges against you, it’s time to turn your attention to your upcoming court case and the defense strategy you can use to protect yourself.