22/06/16 Your Rights When You’re Stopped by the Police

e-legal lesson

A police officer is motioning you to pull over. What are your rights?

You may refuse to:
take a roadside test in most states without suffering a penalty. In some estates, though, a refusal can be presented as evidence against you in court.
take a breath test – but in many states refusal will result in automatic suspension of your license. And in every state, you can still be convicted of drunk driving on other grounds.
give permission for a search of your trunk or car interior if the police have no probable cause to conduct the search. You should not be intimidated by the police into giving consent when you really don’t want them to do a search – even if you’ve got nothing to hide. If the police ignore your refusal and search anyway, you will have a strong argument that anything they found cannot be used against you.

In our next e-Lesson, we’ll see what you may not refuse to.