What are your Rights in New Jersey When Stopped by Police?
Getting pulled over can be a very intimidating experience, especially when it is your first interaction with a member of law enforcement. With today’s media stories depicting increasingly questionable behavior by law enforcement officers, the uncertainty of what to expect when stopped by an officer is not quite surprising.
With the help of some frequently asked questions, here is a comprehensive understanding of what rights you have if you are ever stopped by police in New Jersey:
- You have to pull over if an officer commands it, regardless of your excuse. Even if you are driving your pregnant wife to the hospital because she is in labor, you have to pull over if the officer signals to do so. The officer is not aware of your specific situation when he or she is pulling you over, only aware of the traffic violation.
- An officer has the right to stop you for a number of reasons. The main characteristic of these reasons are that there was a reasonable suspicion of a traffic violation, such as improper use of turn signals, or talking on the phone while driving. Of course, if an officer sees that you are going beyond the speed limit, which is generally not a reasonable suspicion of the violation, but actual witness to the violation.
- You have to provide proper identification. Failing to do so is another violation altogether.
- If the officer tells you to get out of the vehicle, you must comply. If the officer asks you to do so, it is more likely a precaution in the event you are armed.
- Besides getting out of your vehicle and providing the proper identification, there is generally nothing else an officer can request of you, unless they suspect you were driving under the influence or if they suspect you are armed.
- An officer cannot search your vehicle without your consent UNLESS he or she has a reasonable, articulable suspicion that something illegal in inside.
- Though there is no time limit to how long a traffic stop can last, it is required that the officer use reasonable diligence. This phrase means that they should be conscious about why he or she stopped you. After checking your identification and your driving record, the officer should issue a summons or a warning and that should be the end.
- Being unpleasant to an officer may likely make the entire stop much more cumbersome. If you are stopped, it is best to keep yourself composed and civil, and then contact an attorney if you believe the stop or summons was unwarranted.
Being stopped by a police officer can be painless, or it can be a total nightmare. You have rights, but sometimes you are not aware of your rights, or feel as though the officer uses intimidation causing you to agree to something you did not want.
Contact an Experience New Jersey Traffic Attorney Today!
If you have been victim of an unlawful traffic stop or you received a traffic violation that you think is erroneous, call an experienced attorney to help you fight against your ticket. John C. Iannelli, Attorney at Law, is a traffic court attorney ready to assist you in getting a reduced charge or a dismissal, call (856) 227-2434 today for a free consultation.