When you’re being pulled over, it’s easy to feel intimidated and overwhelmed, even if you haven’t actually committed any traffic offense. But it helps if you know a thing or two about the law and how it works.
For starters, know that the US Constitution’s 4th amendment gives you security against any unjustified seizures, searches, and interceptions. The police need to be very specific about what needs to be searched and what has to be seized in case they have probable cause.
But this amendment gives you significant rights, and we’ve used these to compile some tips that can come in handy if you’re pulled over.
Traffic Violations Don’t Give Police the Right to Search Your Car
Every time you’re pulled over after running a red light or because of speeding, the law enforcement authorities don’t just automatically get the right to search your car. They can ask for your license and other documents, but a search isn’t warranted.
Also, the police can’t conduct a dog sniff unless they have probable cause, and under most circumstances, you don’t have to give consent for a search. If they search anyway, the evidence they recover will be useless against you.
Police Are Allowed to Search a Grabbable Area
In the absence of probable cause, the police are allowed to search what can be described as a grabbable area. This is mostly done if the driver is acting suspiciously. The grabbable area is any area of the car that is occupied.
Of course, this makes the trunk a non-grabbable area, so it won’t be legal to search it. Moreover, there can’t be any probable cause linked to it in case of minor traffic offenses.
Being Polite Is Always A Good Idea
While you should be confident when you find yourself in a tight spot with the authorities, it’s not a good idea to act presumptuous and rude. In fact, your behavior could be the deal-breaker between a regular traffic stop and an arrest.
Moreover, it’s important to understand that these laws are complex and often harder for a regular person to understand. You may not see a probable cause, but the police might, and arguing with them isn’t going to do you any good.
If you feel you’re being pulled over and searched unlawfully, you should quickly get in touch with our traffic lawyers at DWI And Traffic Lawyers in Yonkers. We’re a traffic ticket law firm that can help you navigate speeding tickets and DUI charges.
Give us a call for more information.