If you are part of a traffic stop or are personally stopped by the police, you may be wondering what rights you have. First, note that the officer needs to have a reason for stopping you. In a vehicle, violating a traffic law may give an officer the right to pull you over. Similarly, if you match the description of someone who is wanted, an officer may ask you to stop and talk with them while they determine if you’re the person they’re looking for.
That said, an officer doesn’t necessarily have the right to search you just because you’ve been stopped. Your right to privacy and against unreasonable searches and seizures is guaranteed by law, so if an officer does stop and search you, you may have a case against anything they found, even drugs.
What’s the most common reason for a drug charge dismissal?
The most common reason for a drug charge dismissal is that the police didn’t have the right to stop and/or search the person or their vehicle. Searching someone’s person, home or vehicle without a warrant, in many cases, is against the law. Lawful searches and seizures can take place, but the authorities must be cautious not to violate your Fourth Amendment rights.
What can you do if a police officer stops you and asks to search your vehicle or person?
If you are stopped by the police and they want to search you or your vehicle, for example, you should ask them to wait until your attorney arrives. Ask them to allow you to call your attorney or to speak with an attorney before the search continues. You have a right to decline the search. If they do continue to search, then you will have a record of stating that you wanted them to wait until you had your rights explained to you.
Beyond telling them that you’d like to speak with an attorney and giving them some basic identifying information, you don’t need to tell the police anything else. In fact, you should avoid saying anything that could be used against you in court. Your attorney will work with you to devise a strong defense against the charges.