Pulled over? Know your rights! | Criminal Defense

Written by: Michaella RadichScreen Shot 2015-10-19 at 6.06.09 PM

Everyone gets a little anxious when they see police lights flashing behind them. The most important thing to remember if you are pulled over is to remain calm. Speak to the law enforcement agency in a polite manner, and cooperate with him or her, as long as your civil rights are not being violated.

If you are stopped by police, pull over in a safe spot and turn your vehicle off. Turn on the interior light and roll your window partially, keeping your hands visible. Upon request, show the officer your driver’s license, proof of insurance, and registration.

What exactly are your rights when you’re pulled over in Florida?

You have the right to your own personal safety.

This means that the officer cannot force you to pull over in an area where traffic poses a threat to your personal safety and well being, or the safety of any passengers in the vehicle. The law enforcement agent must also respect your personal safety when you are being handled physically. An officer may ask to pat you down or search your vehicle, if they have reasonable suspicion, but as long as you are cooperating with the officer, any form of physical injury or abuse is unacceptable.

You have the right to remain silent.

Anything you say, even before the time of your official arrest, can be used to incriminate you in a court of law. The safest questions to answer when you are pulled over are your name, your address, and your date of birth. If you feel uncomfortable answering any of the questions the office asks you, calmly and politely tell the officer that you choose to remain silent. Your passengers may also exercise their right to remain silent.

You or your passengers may ask the police officer if you are free to go or if you are under arrest. If the officer states that you will be arrested or that you are not free to go, you have the right to remain silent until you consult with your attorney.

You have the right against illegal search and seizure.Screen Shot 2015-10-19 at 6.04.27 PM

If police suspect you have a weapon, they may pat you down. Beyond that, you have the right to refuse consent to search you or your vehicle. Refusing consent to search does not give law enforcement probable cause. But, it is important to remain calm and polite at this point, because officers who perceive your tone of voice as threatening or defiant, may try to use this as probable cause to get around your refusal for consent.

In any case, remaining calm and non-violent will ensure your personal safety and the safety of your passengers. If you feel any of your civil rights have been violated when stopped by a law enforcement agent, think quick and call Blick! Our expert criminal defense attorneys are here to help. Get a free case evaluation by calling 888-973-2776 today!

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