Stopped by the Police? Take control back by knowing your Constitutional Rights.
- You have the right to remain silent.
- Remember, “Silence is Golden.” You have no duty to aid the police in their investigation of you. And this silence cannot be used against you.
- If asked, you must give the police your name and other identifying documents for example, your driver’s license, proof of insurance and vehicle registration.
- You have the right to an attorney present during questioning.
- It is your constitutional right to have a lawyer present if the police begin to question you. You must make this right known to the officer. You can do this by stating, “I will not be answering any questions without my attorney present.”
- You have the right to say “no” if the police ask to search you or your vehicle.
- If the police ask to search you, you have the right to to say “no.” A police officer may be allowed to do a pat down of your body to check for weapons if the police officer reasonably feels he is in danger. However, it is not reasonable for a police officer to feel he is in danger simply because a person committed a traffic violation, such as speeding.
- Police will often pull over individuals for minor traffic violations, such as speeding, and then request to search the vehicle. The law is clear – police generally have no right to search a vehicle if the only evidence of wrongdoing is speeding or other traffic violations. Be aware that if you agree to allow the police to search your vehicle, the police will make every attempt to find incriminating evidence. While you may think “I have nothing to hide,” can you be absolutely 100% certain that not a single one of your passengers left anything incriminating in your car? When was the last time you actually went through the entire contents of your vehicle? Have you ever left your vehicle unlocked?
- If you are arrested you still have the right to say “no” if the police ask to search any of your property. If you are arrested, you have the right to consult with your attorney regarding whether or not to allow officers to search your property.
If you have any questions or comments, please contact Attorney Marc Lopez at (317) 489-9611 or though e-mail.