To begin with, most people get pulled over or encounter law enforcement at some point. Though, these encounters can make most law-abiding drivers nervous and stressed. In fact, these traffic stops are stressful for the officer as well. Still, law enforcement is required to treat everyone equally. Yet, knowing your rights when pulled over can help the unpleasantness of the situation.
Your Rights When Pulled Over
First, is it important to know your rights when pulled over or stopped by law enforcement. Because knowing your rights will allow you to exercise your rights properly for the situation. Unfortunately, some people either misinformed or don’t know. Thus, can worsen the situation. So, according to the ACLU, your right includes:
- Remain Silent – You have the right to remain silent. But you must inform the officer when exercising this right.
- No Consent to Search – While an officer may ask to search, you have the right to refuse. Thus, if you do not consent you should let them know in a calm and clear manner. However, remember they can search without consent if they probable cause.
- Right to Leave – Unless the officer places you under arrest, you can leave. Also, Florida has a temporary detention period, but it must happen on or around the area of the initial stop.
- Legal Representation – Additionally, you have the right to speak to an attorney. As a matter of fact, you should request an attorney before giving a statement.
What to Do When Pulled Over
Second, an officer could pull you over for multiple reasons. Nonetheless, if a law enforcement officer pulls you over you need to cooperate. In all honesty, if you remain calm and follow these tips you could help lessen the anxiety of the situation.
- Slow down and pull over to a safe location off the road.
- Turn your car off and turn on your interior light if it is between dusk and dawn.
- Put your hands on the steering wheel to keep them where the officer can see them.
- Remain in your car, unless the officer requests it.
- If you have a weapon in the car inform the officer of its location.
- Comply with request for a license, registration, and proof of insurance. And tell the officer before reaching for documents that are not visible.
- Answer the officer’s questions honestly and politely. And, it is ok to ask for clarification if you do not understand something.
- If they issue you a ticket sign it. Incidentally, not signing could get you arrested.
Finally, if you get arrested do not resist. Granted, you may feel the arrest is unfair just remain calm. Next, the officer will inform you of your rights. Specifically, they will read to you what is commonly known as your “Miranda Rights.” Since they cannot use anything you say against you in trial without explaining your rights.
For this reason, we recommend you let them know you want to remain silent and immediately ask for an attorney. In addition, you do not need to explain or sign anything. Also, if you cannot afford an attorney the state will provide one. Furthermore, they allow you to make one local call. And, if you request to speak to your attorney they cannot listen without your consent.
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