What Are My Rights During a Traffic Stop?

rights during a traffic stopLaw enforcement agencies have a responsibility to help keep Florida roadways safe. As part of the job, sometimes an officer could pull you over if they suspect you are violating some rules while driving. However, the officer must also respect your rights as a driver and avoid illegal detention in Miami. This article will outline what to do and what are your rights during a traffic stop.

What Is an Unlawful Arrest During a Traffic Stop?

During a routine traffic stop, a police officer must follow federal, state, and local Florida laws. The law requires them to inform you of the precise reason for the stop. In the event of an arrest, the law requires the officer to state your rights and spell out the criminal charges. If the officer does not comply with any of these requirements, it could be an illegal arrest in Miami. 

Drivers Should Comply With Reasonable Requests 

You need to respect an officer’s reasonable requests during a traffic stop. These orders may include requesting you to exit your car or provide proof of identification. If you fail to comply with these requests as a Florida driver, the officer may charge you with willful refusal to comply with a lawful order. This charge is a second-degree misdemeanor, which could result in jail time up to 60 days if convicted, as well as any other sentences that may arise from the traffic stop. 

Right to Stop Safely

When law enforcement pulls you over, stay calm, and find the closest and safest spot where it is practical to pull over. On a highway, find a safe place on the road shoulder. On a regular roadway, you may have to wait until you locate a suitable parking lot or similar position.

illegal arrest miamiRight to Remain Silent

During a traffic stop, you have a right to remain silent similar to other encounters with the police. The only information you must lawfully provide is your driver’s license, insurance, and registration, which you can do without speaking. 

Right to Refuse Unlawful Search

In general, a law enforcement officer must seek your consent before they can conduct a search of your vehicle. However, there are certain exceptions to this rule. If the police officer has probable cause for a search, then they can carry out the search without your consent. Mere suspicion, in the absence of any probable cause, does not give them the right to search your vehicle without your permission. 

You Don’t Have a Right to Remain in Your Vehicle

Sometimes drivers in Florida mistakenly believe they have a right to stay in their vehicle after an officer orders them to exit. This misconception is not correct. You must exit your vehicle if asked. This rule also applies to any other occupants in the vehicle.

Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney to Represent You Following a Traffic Stop

Despite your best conduct, a traffic stop could still end badly, which makes it crucial to know your rights in that situation. A dedicated criminal defense attorney can protect your rights in the event of charges stemming from a traffic stop. Chad Piotrowski of Piotrowski Law has the experience and expertise to deal with violations of your rights and defend you from criminal charges. 

Preserve your future and your finances by enlisting the services of a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney. Call us today at 305-783-3436 or contact us online for a free case evaluation.