When stopped by the police, drivers have certain rights they may exercise during the traffic stop.
Officer Identification: You have the right to ask the officer for his name and to see his badge. This can be beneficial to make sure the person is a real police officer, and to know which officer stopped you in case you fight your case or have any issues with the officer.
The Right To Remain Silent: You have the right to remain silent and not answer any questions, but you will probably be required to prove your identity (driver’s license), proof of insurance and vehicle registration. Anything you say can be used against you, and you can easily give up information that can hurt your case without realizing it, so it is best to use this right. You can also answer questions in a non-committal way so you don’t build a case against yourself. For example if you are asked if you know why you were pulled over you could say “no” instead of “I was speeding.”
The Right to Refuse Searches: Unless the officer has a warrant or probable cause, you have the right to refuse a search of your vehicle and/or person. Probable cause might include something illegal in plain view, the smell of drugs, or the officer seeing you throw something out the window during the traffic stop. You have the right to refuse a search, and should say so verbally if asked, but do not physically resist a search as this will most likely lead to additional serious charges. If the officer illegally searches you car you can fight this in court.
An officer can pat you down to check for weapons and can remove a weapon from you if you have one on you, but the officer cannot do a full search without your permission, probable cause or a warrant.
If you have received a traffic ticket contact the traffic attorneys at Traffic Law Stop today: 314-644-7102 or submit your ticket online.