In the state of New Jersey, law enforcement officials must have a reason to pull you over. Further, except in a couple of very specific circumstances, they are not allowed to search your car without a warrant. Therefore, if you get pulled over because you were speeding or ran a red light, pull over and stay inside your car.
- Don’t give the officer a reason to suspect you have drugs in the car. It sounds obvious, but if you begin to act shady, the officer will likely call for back up and a warrant.
- Keep your hands visible to the officer. Again, you do not want to call attention to yourself. If the police officer believes you are making movements to get a weapon, he or she may detain you and get permission to search your person and the vehicle.
- Be polite but don’t give permission. Without a warrant, except in cases where the officer thinks evidence might be lost, they cannot search the car – except if you give your permission. Don’t. Be polite but decline to permit the search to be conducted without a warrant. The truth is, they don’t have to ask if they have a warrant; this means that they cannot legally search unless you give permission or they wait for the paperwork.
- Finally, do not admit to anything. Even if you are not read your rights, you still do have a legal right to stay silent. Use it! The only thing you should say, if you are arrested and charged with a crime, is to ask for a lawyer.
An experienced lawyer will review the evidence, determine if the traffic stop was legal and work hard to get charges downgraded or dismissed.
Contact the experienced criminal defense lawyer John W. Tumelty. He represents clients throughout New Jersey including Atlantic and Cape May counties. If you are facing criminal charges, do not go it alone. Call us today for a consultation about yoru case.