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2 rights that the police may violate during traffic stops

On Behalf of | Mar 15, 2024 | Criminal Defense

While the police have a duty to maintain public safety and preserve law and order, they may take advantage of their power and violate citizens’ legal rights. This can make being pulled over by the police nerve-wracking for many people

By understanding your legal rights, you can help ensure your safety and minimize the risks of facing serious criminal charges during a traffic stop. Here are a few ways the police may violate your legal rights: 

Searching your vehicle without a warrant

Your Fourth Amendment rights protect you from unreasonable searches. This means that the police cannot search your vehicle if they do not have a warrant. However, the police may have other options. For starters, the police may look into a vehicle from the outside to see if there are any visible weapons or substances that might warrant a search. The police can also get permission from the driver to search the vehicle. Or, the police may search a vehicle after a lawful arrest. 

Making an unlawful arrest

The police don’t have the power to arrest people for no reason. Even if the police have reasonable suspicion that a suspect violated traffic laws, they still need probable cause to make a legal arrest. If the police have evidence of or witnessed a driver violating laws, then they can make an arrest. The police may also arrest someone if they are about to commit a crime. An arrest can also be made if there is a warrant out for a suspect. 

Understanding your legal rights can help protect you from unlawful arrests and criminal convictions. However, the police may still abuse their power, which can put you in a problematic position. You may need to reach out for legal guidance to learn what you can do next.