Carter, Carter & Carter, Attorneys at Law, LLC

What are your rights during a traffic stop?

When police pull you over, you may find yourself stressed. Getting pulled over rarely has a happy outcome, and due to high stress, it can be difficult to remember your rights.


You have the right to refuse a search

Unless the police have probable cause or a warrant to search your vehicle, you do not need to consent to a vehicle search. Probable cause, in this situation, means that the officer had reasonable belief that the driver/ passengers were committing illegal activity. For example, if an officer says they smell drugs in the vehicle, they would have probable cause to search it.

You have the right to remain silent

While it may be beneficial to answer the questions that the police ask during a traffic stop, you are not obligated to answer them. Questions such as where you just came from or where you are headed do not need to be answered.

You have the right to record

You legally have the right to record the happenings of a traffic stop. Pushing a recording device into an officer’s face may not be wise, but it is tough for an officer to say that you cannot politely record what happens at the traffic stop.

You have the right to question

If you are unsure as to why the officer pulled you over, why they are searching your vehicle or why they are doing anything, you have the right to ask them. If they have detained you on the side of the road for an extended period of time, you have the right to ask why you are still there.

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  • NACBA | National Association Of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys
  • DUI Defense | Lawyers Association
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  • Georgia Association Of Criminal Defense Lawyers | Promoting and Justice Since 1974
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