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What Are Your Rights During a Traffic Stop in Florida?

Police car with its lights on in a rearview mirror

Routine traffic stops are often just that, routine. However, there are also times when what could have been a simple traffic stop escalates into something more. Since most people will likely be involved in a traffic stop at least once in their lives, it’s important to know your rights and have an understanding of what to expect.

What to Do During a Traffic Stop

A police officer may pull you over for a variety of reasons. For many people, these stops are annoying and stressful – especially when they feel as though they haven’t done anything wrong. For police officers, traffic stops can also cause lots of stress because they could be walking into a potentially dangerous situation.

When you realize the police are attempting to pull you over, remember to do the following things:

  • Pull off to a safe spot on the side of the road.
  • Roll your window down.
  • Turn off the car.
  • Place your hands on the steering wheel so they’re in the officer’s site.
  • Inform the police of any weapons you may have in the car, but do not reach for them.
  • Only exit the vehicle if you are asked to do so.

What Are Your Rights During A Traffic Stop?

When you are pulled over by the police, you are entitled to several rights.

  • You are allowed to find a safe place to stop. This means that you are allowed to drive until you find a safe and practical place to full over. However, when you notice an officer is attempting to pull you over, you should slow down so they know you’re aware.
  • You have the right to remain silent to avoid saying anything to incriminate yourself. However, pre-Miranda silence can often be seen as suspicious. If the officer asks if you know why you were stopped, you have the right to politely answer no.
  • You have the right to refuse a search of your vehicle, but if the police have probable cause they may search the vehicle anyway.
  • You do not have the right to stay inside your vehicle. If you are ordered to exit the car, you must follow that order.

What to Expect From A Police Officer During a Traffic Stop

Most traffic stops share a lot of similarities, but they may not be identical. However, despite some differences there are certain things you can typically expect from an officer during a traffic stop. The officer will typically tell you his/her name and inform you of the reason you’ve been stopped.

Have You Been Involved in A Traffic Stop That Left You With Criminal Charges?

If you’re facing criminal charges after a traffic stop in the Tampa Bay area, criminal defense attorney, Daniel J. Fernandez, may be able to help. Fernandez & Hernandez will provide a free consultation and discuss your situation. If you need legal assistance call Tampa Criminal Defense Attorney Daniel J. Fernandez of Fernandez & Hernandez at 813-229-5353.

Daniel J. Fernandez

Daniel J. Fernandez

Daniel J. Fernandez defends individuals charged with a misdemeanor and felony criminal offenses throughout the Tampa Bay area and the State of Florida. With more than 30 years of experience as a criminal defense attorney and hundreds of jury trials, Daniel earned tremendous accolades from judges, other lawyers, defendants, and even jurors. Daniel started his legal career as a state prosecutor and became the chief of the Narcotics division before opening his own law practice in 1985.

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3002 W Kennedy Blvd. Tampa, Florida 33609

Business hours:
7 Days a Week / 24 Hours a Day

Phone number:
(813) 229-5353

© Fernandez & Hernandez LLC – 2019. All rights reserved. The material provided in this web site is intended to be used as general information and not as legal advice. You should schedule an appointment with an attorney for professional advice regarding your particular case. You should avoid sending any sensitive, confidential or damaging information via e-mail since mail on the Internet is not secure. We strongly recommend that you contact either Martin J. Hernandez or Daniel J. Fernandez as soon as possible if you are seeking legal representation. Our early intervention is crucial. We have emergency assistance available 7 days a week, every day of the year.