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4 constitutional rights to remember during traffic stops

On Behalf of | Jun 19, 2024 | Criminal Defense |

Many people face severe criminal charges after being pulled over for a traffic stop — which are often pretexts for officers who are searching for reasons to bring charges. Drivers can exercise their constitutional rights during traffic stops as a way to defend themselves against such tactics.

If you are pulled over by the police, then you should remember the following rights: 

1. First Amendment

While the police have a duty to keep the peace, that does not mean they have the right to abuse their powers. If the police abuse their powers during a traffic stop, having evidence of their actions could strengthen a defense during a criminal trial. Drivers can collect evidence by exercising their First Amendment right to record the police as long as it does not interfere with their activities. 

2. Fourth Amendment

The police may search a vehicle for incriminating evidence. Drivers can refuse a search under the Fourth Amendment. If the police search a vehicle without consent, a warrant or probable cause, then the search may be considered unreasonable. Evidence collected could be dismissed during a trial. 

3. Fifth Amendment

The police may question the driver during a traffic stop. Answering these questions could lead to self-incrimination. The driver can refuse to answer questions under the Fifth Amendment. The driver can plead the Fifth and politely decline to answer questions but still make it clear they are cooperating with the police.

4. Sixth Amendment 

If arrested, the driver has the right to legal guidance under the Sixth Amendment. Drivers can reach out for legal help to learn more about their constitutional rights and criminal defense options.