Know Your Rights During A Traffic Stop

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If you get pulled over by a police officer while driving, it’s important that you not only know what you should do, but what your rights are. Knowing these rights and responsibilities should allow the traffic stop to occur without incident.

Your Responsibilities During a Traffic Stop in Arizona

One of the biggest mistakes drivers make when they are pulled over is to reach for their glove box in order to retrieve their registration and proof of insurance. However, you shouldn’t do this until you are asked. Otherwise, the officer won’t know what you’re reaching for. Instead, roll down your window and put your hands on top of your steering wheel where the officer can see them.

Since the state of Arizona does not require a permit to carry a concealed weapon, be sure to notify the officer if you have a weapon in your vehicle. The officer may take possession of your firearm as a precaution, but they will return it once the stop is complete.

An officer does have the right to ask you and your passengers to exit the vehicle. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of officer safety when it comes to being asked to step out of the car.

Your Rights During a Traffic Stop in Arizona

A police officer has to have a reason for pulling you over; they can’t just pull you over on a hunch. Ask why you were pulled over, but be sure to be polite and respectful. Do as the officer tells you so that you do not antagonize them, even if you don’t think you did anything wrong.

If you feel uncomfortable, you are legally allowed to film the traffic stop on your phone as long as you’re on public property. However, confronting the officer could lead to charges against you.

Additionally, the officer cannot search your vehicle without your permission unless they have probable cause. You should know that the smell of marijuana counts as probable cause, even for card-holding medical marijuana patients. If the officer has no probable cause to search your vehicle, you may politely but firmly assert that you do not consent to a search.

Have a Citation in Arizona?

If you’ve received a citation during a traffic stop in Arizona, then be sure to contact us at Pinnacle Law for a confidential consultation today.

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