A cop pulled me over for running a red light, and then he searched my car and me. He didn't find anything, but I felt humiliated and violated by the whole thing. Was he allowed to do this? Could I have said no?
A traffic stop is normally just that. If the officer issues you a citation and has no basis to suspect that you are armed and dangerous or involved in criminal activity, the officer cannot search you or your car. Of course, if the officer does see something suspicious, then the law allows the officer to do a "pat-down" search of you and of the passenger compartment of your car. The police officer can also "frisk" (feel the outside of) any purses, bags, or other things in the car that could hold a weapon. But, if you allow the officer to search you or your car, then the search will normally be considered valid -- even if there were no solid reasons behind the officer's request. Many people don't realize that they can refuse a search. But, as you no doubt know, it's not easy to say "no" to someone who is wearing a gun and scary reflective glasses.
Be aware, however, that laws in many states authorize police officers to arrest drivers for minor traffic offenses, such as speeding or failure to wear a seat belt. If a police officer does choose to arrest a driver, then the officer can conduct a search.
Kreps Law Firm Alabama traffic attorneys are specially trained, experienced criminal defense attorneys with practice dedicated to reckless driving and traffic laws. In Alabama, and across the state, contact Kreps Law Firm, LLC. Our staff will assist you 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
Kreps Law Firm, LLC is an experienced Alabama reckless driving and traffic defense firm that handles traffic violations cases (including reckless driving, speeding and DUI) statewide and in Alabama including clients in Jefferson County, Shelby County, St. Clair County, Bibb County, Walker County, Winston County, Cullman County, Blount County, Tuscaloosa County, Etowah County, Chilton County, Marion County, Cherokee County, Russell County, Mobile County, Calhoun County, Cleburne County, Madison County, Baldwin County, Lee County, Baldwin County and Talladega County, and the communities of Vestavia Hills, Hoover, Homewood, Mountain Brook, Bessemer, Pelham, Alabaster, Clanton, Union Town, Phoenix City, Huntsville, Decatur, Florence, Gadsden, Tuscaloosa, Boaz, Albertville, Guntersville, Cullman, Montgomery, Columbus, Dothan, Auburn, Mobile, Anniston, Oxford, Talladega, Trussville, Gardendale, Harpersville, Chelsea, Pleasant Grove, and Northport. Kreps Law Firm LLC can advise the best course of action, both for Alabama residents and out of state drivers who receive a citation on Alabama roadways.
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