For years, law enforcement seems to have gotten a great amount of leeway when it comes to pulling over motorists on roads and highways. Now, it is your turn to be targeted when the flashing lights signal for you to pull over to the side of the road and away from traffic.
You wonder the reasons why this is happening. Was this a random stop? Were there certain circumstances that aroused the suspicions of the law enforcement officer? Now that you have stopped, you also wonder what you have agreed to do. The main thing, though, is to remain calm. You do not have to answer questions, but if you do talk, do not say anything that may implicate you in even the slightest way.
Listen and cooperate
When pulled over to the side of the road by law enforcement, here are the things that you agreed to:
- Stop your vehicle. This is a sign that you are cooperating. By pulling over as soon as you can, you will more quickly determine why the officer has stopped you.
- Listen to what the law enforcement officer has to say. Maybe the officer has concerns about your driving, has profiled you or claims you resemble a fugitive.
- Cooperate with the law enforcement officer to a certain extent
However, you must remember that you did not agree to allow a law enforcement officer to search your vehicle. A law enforcement officer cannot search your vehicle unless you give him or her consent to do so. However, you really do not need to do this.
There are other reasons that an officer can search your vehicle, too. The officer must have probable cause that criminal evidence is in your car, possess a valid search warrant, or suspect that a search is necessary because his or her life may be in danger.
You have rights, and you must protect them. Law enforcement officers understand that they face extra scrutiny in these current times. They must serve and protect, not bully and intimidate.