If you’re driving along and minding your own business, it can be a great shock to see blue flashing lights in your rearview mirror. As far as you’re aware, you’ve not broken any laws, such as going over the speed limit.
How should you respond? Do you need to pull over? Can the police search your vehicle?
Pulling over safely
If the police have signaled that you must pull over, then you need to do so as soon as it is safe. Remember to signal as this makes other drivers aware of your intentions.
Once you have pulled over safely, turn off the ignition and await further instructions from law enforcement. It’s important that you don’t rush out of the vehicle or do anything else that may be interpreted as an intention to flee the scene.
Can your car be searched?
The U.S. Constitution protects you from unlawful searches and seizures. The officer should have had reasonable suspicion that an offense had been committed before they pulled you over. To carry out a search or arrest, they must either have a warrant or probable cause that an offense has been committed or is about to be committed.
Try to remain calm
When officers request your driver’s registration and details, it’s important to hand these over. You may be outraged at being stopped, as you know you have done nothing wrong, but try to remain calm.
Getting angry and confrontational will only make matters worse, and you could find yourself charged with separate offenses. If you’ve done nothing wrong, then that’s all you need to remember. Even if you’re wrongly accused, the truth will come out in the end.
Being charged with DUI or other driving offenses is a serious matter. Make sure you have legal guidance behind you so that you can assert your rights and counter any accusations that have been made.