Regardless of the situation, it is always both stressful and uncomfortable when you are pulled over by police. Every scenario is pretty much the same. A person is pulled over; they either know they’re guilty, or truly believe they have done nothing wrong. The police officer on the other hand, having pulled the person over, is suspicious of something, or outright knows they have broken the law in some sense.
So once you become pulled over, there are many considerations to take into account. Such as whether you have actually broken any laws whilst driving, and whether any broken laws will be found out once the officer speaks to you or inspects your vehicle further. Such things could be not wearing your seatbelt, driving while under the influence, driving with restricted vision, and any other number of laws.
Now if you have nothing to worry over, and suspect you have been pulled over for speeding, or you realize your plates have become expired, than comply with the officer. Usually just being respectful and kind is all that is needed to stay out of trouble. But for more potentially serious charges, such as not being sure those 2 beers you had with lunch put you over the legal limit, you need to be careful as if you admit to such things, or fall into the common trap of rolling over to the polices demands, you’re going to be putting yourself into a terrible position.
What is to follow here is exactly what should be done in order to protect yourself legally, at least until you consult with an attorney. The following information is intended to help educate members of the motoring public as to their rights under the law and to assist presumptively innocent citizens in properly asserting those rights. This is not intended to help anyone guilty evade or avoid punishment.
If the police pull you over and their questioning goes beyond asking for your drivers license and insurance, there are 7 points which you should remember which will help you until a lawyer is contacted.
- Offer to the officer both your drivers license as well as proof of insurance. These are always required and no reason can be given as to why they don’t need to see them.
- State that you have not committed any crime and that you request your documents back, and wish to leave immediately.
- If the officer does not allow you to leave, state that you then assume this is more than a normal traffic stop and that you are in the belief to be under arrest.
- If that is the case and the officer does not allow you to leave, immediately claim your right to remain silent. Do not make any statements, answer any questions, nor take any field sobriety tests. Including the handheld alcohol sensor breath test, nor the roadside sobriety test.
- State that you are willing to allow the testing of your blood, breath, or urine at the police station or state testing facility. Though they must be conducted and in compliance with state law. Also state that you are afforded independent testing based on your personal choosing of a medical facility. Also, that you in no way waive your request for independent testing.
- State that you do not consent to the search of your person or property without first receiving your written consent.
- State that you invoke your right to an attorney and that yours should be contacted immediately. You will not answer any further questions until your lawyer is present.
At this point it will obviously help to have an attorney in mind, or at least know where you can contact one. You have the right to legal council, and the best thing you can do is simply wait for the cavalry to arrive as anything you say or do can be held against you later on. So remaining silent beyond mentioning the above points is well advised. I hope this clarifies what drivers rights we are owed, and hope more so that no trouble comes to anyone in the future.
The author of this article is Damien S. Wilhelmi. If you enjoyed this article, you can follow me on twitter @FacePalmLaw. If you have become involved or have been charged with a DUI in the state of Colorado, then it is advised you contact a Boulder DUI attorney immediately.