What Are My Rights If I’ve Been Pulled Over by the Police?
Getting pulled over can be a distressing time for many people and a time of confusion too. People often assume that they have to do everything an officer tells them to do at that time, and they may be coerced into doing certain things that they shouldn’t do or have no obligations to do. If you’ve been stopped recently and feel like something was wrong, or you get pulled over often and feel like you’re being unjustly treated, here are some of the rights you have when you are stopped by the police.
You Have the Right to Pull Over Somewhere Safe
One of the biggest misconceptions about being signaled by the police is that you have to stop immediately, otherwise it counts as a police chase and possibly a criminal offense. But if there is nowhere to stop safely, you can drive until you find someone safe to stop. If a police officer tried to charge you with something because you took some time to stop, then this could be a civil rights violation and you could sue them for police misconduct.
In this situation, it could be a good idea to get in touch with a police misconduct lawyer that will be able to prove that you were indeed exercising your right to pull over safely. These cases can be difficult to prove, but they’ve been contested many times with success, so don’t assume you won’t win, and instead look for a lawyer who is familiar with these kinds of cases. You can find more information here: https://www.rblaw.net/practices-police-misconduct.
You Have the Right to Ask Why You’re Being Pulled Over
Police officers need probable cause or reasonable suspicion that a crime is taking place to stop you, and you have the right to ask them what is the reason for them to stop you. If they refuse to tell you, then it is a violation of your rights, and you may have a case against them.
Know, however, that you could still be prosecuted for criminal activity if they find that you have committed a crime. This can happen, for instance, if the police officer finds that there was a warrant out for your arrest. So, don’t assume that evidence that was found during an unlawful search cannot be used against you.
You Have the Right to Remain Silent
The right to remain silent is not a cliche. If you don’t wish to speak to an officer, this is your right as no one has the right to force you to speak. What is a cliche, however, is the belief that an officer absolutely has to read you your Miranda rights upon arrest. It is your right to ask them to read them to you, but they are under no obligation to read them to you if you don’t ask them. So, know what the rules are and take the time to learn what your Miranda rights are before you take to the roads so you can effectively protect them.
These are all things that you are within your rights to do if you ever get pulled over by the police. Know as much about your civil rights as possible and don’t hesitate to seek counsel if you feel like your rights have been violated.