When you see police lights flashing or sirens blaring, your stomach may drop, especially if you have drugs in your vehicle. Law enforcement has specific rules officers must follow when conducting a traffic stop. These procedures are put in place to protect your rights. One of the most crucial protections afforded places limitations on what the police may search and seize. If the police crossed a line during your traffic stop, you might not know it. An experienced Indiana Drug Arrest Attorney will recognize when your rights were violated. Discover basic elements of a stop and what the police can and cannot do.
The Reason for the Stop
The police are not permitted to stop vehicles without reason. They must either witness you committing a traffic infraction or have reasonable suspicion that you are doing something illegal. Pay close attention to why the officer pulled you over. In some instances, a Drug Arrest Attorney in Indiana may get your case dropped because the police failed to give a plausible reason for conducting the traffic stop.
The Request to Search Your Vehicle
Law enforcement officers have been trained to observe and listen. When speaking to you after the stop, they are often paying close attention to not only what you say but how you say it, as well as how you act. They also look at the items in your car and stay aware of odors. They may ask you to step out and press you to allow them to enter your vehicle to conduct a search. If you deny permission, the officer must stop until a warrant is obtained. The only reasons a search without a warrant may continue are:
• The officer sees drugs or paraphernalia in plain sight
• You informed the officer of a weapon in the vehicle
• You are arrested
• Your vehicle is impounded
A routine traffic stop should not merit a search of your vehicle unless you agree to it. An Indiana Drug Arrest Attorney is your best defense against illegal search and seizure practices. Contact Potts Law at (317) 951-0087 or fill out the online contact form to hear from our office directly.