In most states a police officer can only pull you over if he suspects that you have committed a moving violation of some sort. But do you know what to do when pulled over for a moving violation? Here’s is what should happen and what to do when you are stopped.
Once you have been pulled over the police officer should then approach your car and let you know why it is they have stopped you, then they will ask to see your license and registration. Always have these documents handy when you are driving and hand them to the police officer. It is in your best interest to be polite and to not act aggressively, aggression arouses suspicion and can lead to searches of your vehicle or breath tests for alcohol. That being said you should also know your rights and invoke them when it is necessary.
If you are stopped:
- Stay calm and provide your license and registration
- Remain in your car with your hands in view
- Provide your documents without argument
- Be courteous
- Answer questions with brief answers
- Invoke your rights if need be
Can the Police Search My Car
You can refuse to allow a search of your car as long as there is no probable cause to believe you have committed a crime. They cannot arrest you for not allowing a search of your vehicle. If they do search your vehicle without permission or probable cause then any of the evidence obtained can be thrown out of court. Here is how to politely refuse a police search.
Can I Refuse a Breathalyzer or Sobriety Test?
That will depend on the state but in most cases simply by driving on the roads you have given consent to be sobriety tested. You may have the right to ask that the test be performed in a hospital to ensure accuracy. If you refuse a sobriety test then in most states it will result in an automatic suspension of your license whether you have been drinking or not. You can politely refuse to take a field test but that can result in arrest and once you are taken into custody you will be given a chemical breath test, blood or urine test and that you cannot refuse.
What do you say if they ask if you’ve been drinking?
Many police officers will assume that since you are on the road late at night that you have in fact been drinking. If you have been drinking then it is in your best interest to invoke your 5th amendment rights.
You are not obligated to answer questions about where you were, with whom or what you are doing. You have the right to speak to an attorney before answering any questions.