How many of your rights and legal obligations do you know? You have a responsibility to know these rights. Law enforcement officials have no responsibility to make sure that you know the laws or your rights. You should not let the movies and TV shows give you the wrong understanding. If you are pulled over on a suspicion of a DWI, you will have some very important decisions to make.
What should you do during a traffic stop?
- Once the officer orders you to stop, you should always stop
- You will need to make sure you have your driver’s license, your proof of registration, and proof of insurance because the officer will request this information
- You should not attempt to leave until the officer has given you the permission to do so
What are my constitutional rights?
According to the Fourth Amendment, you have the right to refuse any search and seizure of your body, your vehicle, and any of your belongings. However, there is an exception when the officer’s safety is at risk. At this time, the officer can legally give your body at pat-down and perform a search for weapons if the officer believes you may be a threat.
Under the Fifth Amendment, you can refuse to answer any of the officer’s questions, especially if you feel your answers may incriminate you in any way. Under the Sixth Amendment, if you have been taken into custody and detained, you are given the right to have your attorney with you when it is time for questioning.
What Should You Do To Protect Your Privacy?
You should make sure you have safely pulled over to the side of the road. Once you have pulled over, you should turn on your emergency lights or your hazard lights. If you are listening to music, you should turn the music off. You can roll down the driver side window and the passenger side window because the officer may come to either window. If there are other people in your vehicle, remind them to remain quiet and calm.
You Can Be Polite, Yet Firm
No matter what type of situation arises or what type of questions you are asked, you should try to remain as calm and respectful as possible. You can greet the officer and calmly ask why you have been pulled over. An officer cannot legally pull someone over without having a reasonable cause of suspicion.
After you have been stopped, the officer does have the right to investigate why he or she has stopped you. However, the officer cannot take that investigation further without explaining or adding additional information.
There Is No Need To Add More
Whatever you do, do not offer the officer any information. You do not have to spark a conversation with the officer. You should also remember that you do not have to answer any questions that the officer is asking. Officers know how to ask questions that will get additional information from people. You are not legally obligated to answer questions because the answers you give may do more harm than good.
Remember These Things When You Are In Minnesota
Once someone has been arrested on suspicion of drunk driving and you assert your rights, you will be charged with a crime. If you refuse a search of your body or your blood, if you refuse to take a breath test, if you make the decision to remain silent, and if you assert your Sixth Amendment right, these things will all be considered a crime.
We understand that being arrested for a DWI can be frightening and the justice system is not an easy one to figure out. Contact me today for more information or a consultation.