What To Do When Pulled Over By Law Enforcement
Orlando and Central Florida Traffic Crime Defense Lawyers. The Law Office of Joe Castrofort, PLLC Provides Aggressive and Professional Criminal Defense Attorney Legal Services in Orlando, Orange County, Seminole County, Osceola County, and throughout Central Florida.
Call 407.233.0557 to Speak with an Orlando and Central Florida Traffic Crime Defense Lawyer at The Law Office of Joe Castrofort, PLLC.
Any person that is being pulled over for any reason has rights. On this page we will discuss some of these rights for your edification relating to a current legal situation and for your future benefit if pulled over by law enforcement.
Before we get to your rights, it is extremely important that you remember that whenever you are pulled over by law enforcement, you should remain calm, anything you say should be spoken in a polite manner, and always comply with the officer's instructions as long as they do not violate your civil rights. Anything short of polite and compliant could result in an undesirable outcome of the traffic stop.
Having said that, here are some of the most important rights you have when pulled over by law enforcement.
- Your Personal Safety. First and foremost, even when pulling you over, your personal safety is a right! This includes law enforcement not making you pull over at a location that the current traffic will not pose a treat to you, anyone else in the vehicle, or to the surrounding vehicle in traffic.
Your safety is also a right when being physically handled by law enforcement. Law enforcement may not be unjustifiably aggressive while conducting questioning, an arrest, or while engaging you in any way of a physical nature. In short, as long as you are lawfully complying with the officer's lawful instructions, no physical abuse or injuries inflicted by law enforcement is acceptable, however small the injuries may be.
- You Have a Right to Remain Silent. If you do choose to answer questions by law enforcement, you have a right to not say anything that may incriminate yourself. Remember, the only safe questions you may be asked when pulled over are: those relating to your name, address, date of birth, sometimes your social security number. Why do you think they only inform you of this right as you are being arrested? It is because ANYTHING you say, even before you are arrested can be used against you in a court of law.
It is advised that you be courteous, but be mindful of what questions law enforcement asks you, as well as the answers your provide. If you are uncomfortable with a question by law enforcement, politely ask if you are under arrest or free to go. If law enforcement states that you are going to be arrested or that you are not free to go, politely say that you must choose to remain silent until you have had time to consult with an attorney.
If you have not already been arrested, remaining silent is not sufficient grounds to arrest you. It is not uncommon for the law enforcement officer to try to get you to talk anyway by threatening to arrest you if you do not talk. Law enforcement may even tell you they will arrest you for obstruction of justice for not answering there questions. It may be a violation of your civil rights if this occurs. If you have been pulled over, you cannot be arrested based on exercising your lawful right to remain silent.
- Your Rights against illegal Search and Seizure. A law enforcement officer that does not need your permission to search your vehicle does not ask for your permission. If asked for your consent, you have a legal right not to consent of your vehicle. Denying consent to search your vehicle does not meet the standard of sufficient probable cause to give the officer the authority to search your vehicle without your consent. If this occurs, your civil rights may have been violated.
If law enforcement chooses to search you or your vehicle, you have a right to verbally tell the officer "I do not consent to this search." It is advisable that you remain calm at all times, especially when expressing that you do not consent to a search of you or your vehicle, as some law enforcement officer may try to use a defiant tone as their perceived justification for probable cause to get around need your permission for a search.
- You Have A Right To Ask "Am I Free to Go?" As soon as the police officer ask you a question, you may ask, "Am I free to go?" You have to ask if you're "free to go," otherwise the police officer will think you are voluntarily staying to talk with him. If the police officer says that you're are being detained or arrested, say to the police officer "I'm going to remain silent." It is your right to do so and your first line of defense... to not incriminate yourself in any way.
- If arrested, you have a right not to be questioned further before you are able to consult with an attorney. When arrested and charged with a crime, if you are asked any questions after expressing your desire to first consult with an attorney, then your civil rights may have been violated.
As your Orlando criminal traffic violation defense attorney (lawyer), Joe Castrofort, Esq., will:
- Inform you of your legal rights and options;
- Review, analyze, and investigate all evidence against you;
- Analyze the circumstances leading to your arrest;
- Analyze the actions of law enforcement leading up to, and during your arrest;
- Seek to have your criminal traffic violation charges dropped, reduced or fight for a diversion program (when available);
- Recommend the most viable criminal traffic violation defense strategy regarding your case;
- And when necessary, aggressively protect your legal rights in court.
The Law Office of Joe Castrofort, PLLC possesses thorough knowledge regarding all State and Federal laws regarding DUI defense issues, and has the experience to effectively employ this knowledge in the defense of your DUI legal matters.
Protect your rights by seeking the legal advice and representation of an experienced Orlando Traffic Crime Criminal Defense Attorney / Lawyer.
Call 407.233.0557 to Contact an Orlando and Central Florida Criminal Traffic Defense Lawyer at The Law Office of Joe Castrofort, PLLC in the Orlando, Orange County, Seminole County, Osceola County, and throughout the Central Florida area.