If you are pulled over by the police, it is important to know your rights are. Knowing your rights can make the difference between a simple traffic ticket or warning, to getting arrested for a crime you maybe not guilty of. However, it is important to remember that no matter the circumstances of your traffic stop that the Police Officer(s) need to be respected and that kindness can go a long way towards getting the best outcome in your situation.
First and foremost, a Police Officer has to have a reason to pull you over. Texas law requires that a Police Officer have a reasonable suspicion that a crime has been committed to pull you over. This can be a lot of things from a running a stop-sign, expired registration stickers, swerving all over the road, speeding, or anything else that would give an officer a reasonable suspicion that a crime has been committed.
If you are pulled over the Police cannot just search your car without a reason. Police must have one of the following things to search your car: (1) your permission to search the car; (2) probable cause to search the car (this can be something like the smell drugs emanating from the car); or (3) if you are arrested for any reason, the Police can do what is called an inventory search of the car before it is impounded.
Further, if you are pulled over and the Officer asks you to get out of the car you must comply with the Officer, failure to do so can and will likely lead to your arrest.
If you are pulled over for suspicion of DWI or DUI you do have the right to refuse the Field Sobriety Tests. Further, you have the right to refuse the Breathalyzer or any blood tests (unless there has been a wreck or another reason that you have waived the right such as if you are on probation or parole). However, if you refuse the Breathalyzer or blood tests under the “Implied Consent” law in Texas your license will be suspended.
It is also important to remember that if you have a weapons permit, to show that to the officer as soon as he/she asks for your license and proof of insurance. Also, you may record the officer with your cellphone without permission of the officer. However, you should not force it into their face and you should tell the officer that this your cellphone and you are recording to avoid the officer mistaking it for a weapon.
Last, and most importantly, you have the absolute right to remain silent.
If you have been arrested and want to know your rights contact us today to set up a free consultation at (972) 330-2171.