Traffic Stops and Police Violating Your Rights
Traffic Stops and Police Violating Your Rights – Getting pulled off by a police is not a big deal, it can happen for many reasons and it does not necessarily mean you have violated anything. However, even if you have done so Police has to treat you following the Constitutional Standards, respecting your basic Human Rights. Unfortunately this is not always the case and the rights of drivers are frequently violated.
In order to be more protected and not feel vulnerable next time you are pulled off there are few things you need to know about your rights and what the police could potentially violate.
Safety Once You Are Stopped
When you get pulled off you need to stop at a safe place. The first thing you have to remember is your duty to shut the engine off. The second thing is you need to stay in the car unless you are told to step out. We’ll tell you how to act if you have to step out of the vehicle later. If you exit the vehicle, police could think there is certain threat and may use force, which frequently is excessive.
Do Not Initiate Dialogue with the Officer
Remaining silent is not simply your right, it is a highly recommended thing to do. Let the police officer talk first, let him or her ask questions. Keep your answers short and to the point; do not let out extra information. We all remember the movie “Liar, Liar” when Jim Carrey voluntarily gave out the details to the police officer causing him way more problems than he was facing when getting pulled off. We don’t recommend lying of course but if a question is not asked you don’t have to provide extra information. If you feel like you prefer not to answer to questions or you don’t like the questions, you have a constitutional right to remain silent. Of course, police does not like to be told those words, but the Supreme Court has expressly stated that this right is paramount and you can exercise it before as well as after arrest. Whatever you say and whenever you say it can and always will be used against you, so even if you are stating things that are useful for you, it is a risk you take. The only thing you have to answer to is your identity, everything else is under your good will.
You Don’t Have to Agree to Searches
Search is a process that is often used by police. Whether you have violated any rules or not, you should never agree to a search. The procedure of search requires permission for a good reason, it is to protect you. The risks associated with the search are so high that the primary recommendation is not to give such consent. During the search police can plant evidence, which unfortunately has happened. So even when you are 100% sure there is nothing wrong, do not agree to a search. Let the police do the hard work.
Ask the main question: “Can I go”
If you do not ask a question “am I free to go” police might think that you staying is voluntary. Once you have given your license and registration or any document initially asked for by the police, you can ask right away. Don’t let them keep you longer. If there was no violation from your side you have to be let gone right away and if the police seems to be stalling, use all your rights, such as remaining silent and refusing to search most of all.
Police officers have frequently spotted to be disrespectful when stopping you for traffic violations they are sometimes rude and intimidating. Your right to dignity is of a very high value, you don’t have to collaborate with the officer that does not respect it, so do not answer any questions if you notice the policeman is not respecting you. Remain silent and try to ask for leaving (do not leave unless police officer told you you are free to do so).
If Asked to Step Outside
If you are asked to step outside of the vehicle, ask what for. You do not have to leave your vehicle unless the police officer has given a reason, such as the need to search for a car. If given a reason you do need to step out of the vehicle but you don’t have to consent to search of yourself or of the vehicle. In case they decide to do so based on some probable cause they can do so, but in case they do not find anything the policemen that have conducted search will face legal consequences, primarily the abuse of their rights.
Therefore if you disagree with the officer without raising your voice or fighting the representatives of law, you can refuse to any collaboration, that does not give the police probable cause and if they act on your refusals only they risk prosecution, not you. So know your rights and be protected.