Know Your Rights: What You Should Do if Stopped by the Police

Being stopped by the police can be a scary and confusing situation. Prepare yourself ahead of time by learning your rights and having a plan. Remain calm and do not escalate the situation. Remember these three tips and use them to protect your rights.

What to do when pulled over

If you are driving and a police officer signals you to pull over, do so as quickly as possible. Find a well lit, safe place, and stop your car. Be mindful and aware of traffic when pulling over, especially if you’re driving on a high-speed highway.

After parking, turn off your car and roll down your window part way. Turn on the dome light, especially at night time. Make sure your hands are visible by placing them on the wheel or the dashboard.

While speaking with the officer, everyone in the car should avoid making sudden movements and keep their hands always visible.

Do not consent

It can be intimidating to say no to a police officer. They need probable cause to search your vehicle, and without it or your consent, they cannot search. However, if they suspect you have a weapon, they can pat you down.

Even if they start searching your car, make it clear that you do not consent to the search.

Remain silent

You do not have to answer any questions. If they ask for your personal information, hand them your license and registration and nothing else.

Don’t sign or agree to anything, especially if it will incriminate you. Respond to questions with “I have been advised not to answer any questions.”

Ask for a lawyer

Contrary to popular belief, police do not have to read your Miranda Rights while arresting you. You still have the right to remain silent – use it. If an officer asks you questions, request a lawyer.

Anything you say to an officer can be used against you, and the sooner you speak with a lawyer, the less likely you’ll accidentally say something incriminating.

What kind of lawyer should I call?

If you are arrested, you should work with an experienced and dedicated criminal defense attorney. The Windecher Firm has a wealth of experience in criminal defense, and our seasoned legal team can help protect your driving privileges.

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