Police Traffic Stops – Your constitutional rights, responsibilities and what to do if you’re arrested
Summer 2021 is here and most of us will spend extra time on the roads in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Our criminal defense law firm with offices in Pennsylvania and New Jersey want to provide you with a quick review of your rights and responsibilities during a police traffic stop. Most of our criminal cases, especially those involving the illegal possession of guns, firearms, drugs and narcotics, start with a traffic stop! Our law firm realizes that most people often don’t understand their rights and make their cases worse even before a criminal defense lawyer is hired to represent them.
Here is quick list of things to keep in mind, especially if you’re traveling this weekend in Pennsylvania or New Jersey
- You have Constitutional rights. They are the right to remain silent. Should you choose to exercise that right, say so out loud.
- You also have the right to refuse to consent to a search of yourself, your car or your home.
- If you are not under arrest, you have the right to calmly leave.
- You have the right to consult with an attorney if you are arrested. It is advisable to ask for one immediately
- Stay calm. Be courteous, polite and respectful to all members of law enforcement.
- Remember the details of the encounter to the best of your ability.
- File a written complaint if you feel your rights have been violated.
- Do not interfere with or obstruct the police.
- Do not lie to police (you should not be saying anything anyway) and or give false documents, identification, etc.
If You Are Arrested
- Do not resist arrest regardless of how unfair you feel the arrest is.
- Tell the cop(s) you choose to remain silent and ask for an attorney immediately. Don’t give any explanations or excuses. If you can’t pay for a lawyer, you have the right to a free one. Don’t say anything, sign anything or make any decisions without an attorney present.
- You have the right to make a local phone call. Legally the police cannot listen if you call a lawyer.
- Prepare yourself and your family. Memorize the phone numbers of your family as well as your attorney. Make emergency plans if you have children or take medication.
- If in holding tank or jail do not confide in, or discuss your case, with others who are also detained.
- A judge will determine if your charges are legitimate and adhered to probable cause laws. If you give any false ID or statements bail can be denied.
Have a great 2021 Summer!
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