Have You Been Pulled Over For No Reason? Know Your Rights
Getting pulled over is never fun. You get nervous, your emotions are at a record high and you are going through the usual questions in your mind.
Getting pulled over for no reason is a lot worse. Whether you are late for a meeting or simply enjoying a drive around town, everyone has been in this situation before. But, what are your rights as a citizen when this happens?
NOTE: If you’ve been pulled over for no reason/searched illegal, you may want to talk to an attorney today.
What to Do If You’re Stopped for No Reason
What happens if I get pulled over for no reason and the police officer says he must search my car immediately? Let’s say he doesn’t find anything (of course), then tells me to go. Is that an illegal stop?
- His rude behavior toward you is unjustified and he could be held liable for his actions towards you the driver.
- He has no right to search your car at all. As a citizen of the United States, you have the right to say no to any search that happens with your car.
Police officers need probable cause to search a vehicle and even if they have that, you can still refuse. A warrant is required unless you are currently on Probation for ANY offense.
Your Rights as a Driver and Citizen of the United States
You have rights as a citizen. You could have also gotten the badge number of the officer and file a complaint against them. Many people ignore this because of the fact that they hear nothing happens to police officers in this situation.
Police officers however, do get reprimanded when a citizen who is in good standing of the law (meaning no criminal record) comes in and complains. You never know if others have complained and this is what is going to get the officer fired.
You have rights and you need to use them. Whenever you get pulled over for no reason, you are going to have to stay calm and remember everything that happens. Never let the officer search your car because it is against the law without probable cause and the officer knows that.
Depending on the situation and whether or not it is a case of racial profiling; there is nothing you can really do to avoid getting pulled over for any reason at all. You are going to have to just stay calm and know your rights.
Many people panic when they see the lights and siren. Simply do as the officer says and get his information if he/she is rude to you. If you are fortunate not to get a ticket in the situation, then you can relax and hope this never happens to you again. Mostly you need to remember the following points:
- The 4th Amendment states, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” Therefore no officer has the right to search and seize without probable cause.
- The Peace Officer Code of Ethics states, “I will never take selfish advantage of my position and will not allow my personal feelings, animosities or friendships to influence my actions or decisions.” Therefore just because they have a badge, it doesn’t give theme the right to yell at you for no reason at all.
Hope this helps and remember to always obey the rules of the road to avoid any real trouble with the law.