Your Rights During a Traffic Stop
In most normal situations, most motorists can fully exercise their civil rights during a traffic stop. Civil rights such as:
- Refusal to answer questions
- Allowing a vehicle search
- Offer any other potentially incriminating evidence
However, be aware that there are many states take a completely different stance on how traffic stops are handled from an administrative standpoint.
Submitting to Police Searches
Generally speaking, you have the right to refuse a search of your vehicle. There are circumstances, though, in which police may proceed without a warrant even without your consent. As an example, if drug contraband is in plain view, as an example, the officer may notice a small bag of drugs or other type of drug paraphernalia are on the front seat, there is a good chance that the officer will begin searching for more. Police may also conduct a search if they:
- Have probable cause to believe you violated the law
- Suspect critical evidence is about to be destroyed
- Have already arrested you
Answering Police Questions
During a typical traffic stop, you must identify yourself and provide any supporting documents requested by the officer, such as your license and vehicle registration. Otherwise, though, you have the right to remain silent. Whether it’s wise to exercise this right will depend on the circumstances.
If police are already suspicious of your activities, such as refusing to answer their questions could make the situation worse and end with you in need of calling an Indiana bail bondsman. If the exchange is relatively straightforward, though, and you were pulled over for a simple traffic violation, declining to answer the police officer’s questions in a polite but firm manner could work in your favor. To avoid arousing suspicion, you could try answering their questions with a question, like “Am I free to leave?” or “Is there some sort of a problem?”
Submitting to Police Drug and Alcohol Testing
Like most states, Indiana has an implied consent law. Implied consent essentially means that drivers agree to submit to chemical tests in certain situations. An officer can request a blood or breath test if an officer has probable cause to believe you were:
- Smoking marijuana
- Under the influence of some other intoxicant
Because of the Indiana implied consent law, you could face serious penalties for refusing to submit to the officer’s request. Taking a field sobriety tests, on the other hand, is optional. As a matter of fact, an Indiana criminal defense attorney may advise that you politely refuse that request.
Do You Believe Your Rights When Pulled Over Were Violated?
If you or someone you love ended up in custody despite asserting the above rights during a traffic stop, there is a good chance that you have a strong defense in your case. Give us a call at 317-721-4783 for help with an Indiana traffic violations attorney today!