What You Should Do If You Are Pulled Over By The Police In California?

[playht_listen_button]You’re driving down the California freeway with the music playing and the wind in your hair. The last thing that you are thinking about is being pulled over by the police. But all of the sudden you hear the sound of a siren and see those flashing lights in your rearview. You hope that the police speed right past you, but reality sets in and you realize that it’s you that they are after. You may have found yourself in this situation in the past but were clueless on what to do. Being prepared for this encounter may be the difference between being given a warning and being hauled away in the back of a squad car. Here’s more on what you should do if you have been pulled over by the police.

Relax And Stay Calm

The last thing that you want to do in this scenario is make the officer uncomfortable. Police officers have been trained to spot signs of nervousness and anxiety. If they detect those things, they may then assume that you are dangerous or otherwise suspicious. You will also want to be as respectful as possible. Yelling, cursing, and calling the officer names may feel good, but in the end it will not help to resolve the situation.

Know Your Rights

The police are permitted to stop you if they reasonably suspect that you have committed a crime. They cannot pull you over because you fit a profile or because they have a gut feeling of you doing something wrong. Reasonable suspicion typically involves the police observing you committing a motor vehicle infraction (e.g. speeding, swerving, texting while driving). Once you have been pulled over, you must then present to police your driver’s license, proof of insurance, and vehicle registration.

The officer may ask you to roll your windows down so they can see who is in the vehicle. This should only be done for the officer’s safety. Any attempt by the officer at this point to look through your vehicle or search it will require a warrant or your permission to do so.

Do Not Give Permission To Search

If the officer is asking to search your car, then it is likely that they know they do not have the right to do so without your permission or a warrant. If the officer asks to search your vehicle, then it is not recommended that you permit them to do so. Remember, you have likely been pulled over for a motor vehicle infraction, so any additional attempts by the officer to gather evidence goes beyond the purpose of them stopping you. Try to only provide the officer with information relevant to why you have been pulled over. Remember to be respectful, but be firm in asserting your rights.

A Note On Warrants

It is important to understand that if there is an active warrant out for your arrest, then the police can pull you over and take you down to the police station. In this scenario, they may also have the right to search your vehicle. A warrant for your arrest does not require the police to have a separate reason to pull you over. All they need to show is that there is a valid warrant for your arrest.

My Rights Law is focused on defending those in California who have been criminally charged. Our skilled criminal defense lawyers are here for you and will help ensure that your rights are protected. We are ready to fight the charges on your behalf, and know how to unleash powerful, effective defensive strategies that could make all the difference in your criminal case. So, if you have a run-in with the law, then call My Rights Law at (888) 702-8882 or contact us online for a free consultation.