Legal Knowledge. Courtroom Experience. Empathetic Advice.

3 constitutional rights to remember during traffic stops

On Behalf of | Feb 29, 2024 | Criminal Defense

Traffic stops allow the police to stop drivers from violating traffic laws and gather evidence supporting an arrest. The police do not have the power to do whatever they want during traffic stops. Citizens are protected under the Constitution. 

To protect yourself during a traffic stop, it is important to know each of your constitutional rights. Here’s what you should know:

First Amendment

Drivers can, under the First Amendment, record the police as long as it doesn’t interfere with an officer’s duties. Recording the police can allow a driver to collect evidence proving that an officer abused their power or used excessive force. This evidence could be used in court as a legal defense.

Fourth Amendment

The Fourth Amendment protects people from unreasonable searches. This means that the police can search vehicles or drivers if they have a warrant. Without a warrant, the police would either need permission from a driver to conduct a search, have probable cause, have made an arrest or believe their life was endangered before they conduct a search. 

Fifth Amendment 

The police gather evidence by asking drivers questions. These questions could cause a driver to make a self-incriminating comment that suggests they were involved in a crime. Self-incriminating comments can be used in court against a driver. Drivers can reserve comments under the Fifth Amendment to protect themselves from self-incriminating comments.

If you believe your legal rights were violated during a traffic stop, you can reach out for legal help to learn how to create a strong defense.