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What are your rights when stopped by law enforcement?

On Behalf of | Aug 6, 2022 | Criminal Law |

If you get stopped by law enforcement, you may feel scared and unsure of what to do. The choices you make will sometimes have a serious impact on the outcome of your stop.

Knowing your right when stopped by law enforcement may help you avoid unnecessarily facing criminal charges.

Following instructions

According to the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General, drivers must follow directions given to them by law enforcement officers at traffic stops. For example, this may include giving them their driver’s licenses, proof of insurance and vehicle registration. To prevent possible confusion about your intent, you should wait to give your information to the authorities until they ask for it.

Answering questions

While you must generally comply with directions from law enforcement during a traffic stop, you do not have to answer additional questions. Instead, you have the right to choose not to speak further with the authorities after you give them your credentials.

Recording the stop

In addition to the body-worn and dashboard cameras used by most law enforcement officers throughout the state, you may wish to also document your traffic stop. You generally have the right to make a video recording with your cell phone or another such device, as long as it does not interfere with you following the instructions given to you by the authorities.

An arrest or charges stemming from traffic stops may seriously affect your life, both now and in the future. Therefore, you may think about all your options to limit the possible fallout, which may include working with an attorney to develop a solid criminal defense.