Law enforcement officials must follow procedures and respect the legal rights of citizens, including before and during an arrest.
If the police pull you over, knowing your rights can help you protect yourself. Furthermore, identifying rights violations can help you and your legal team fight your case in court.
Legal traffic stops
Before initiating a traffic stop legally, the police need to see a violation of the law. A stop based on a hunch or suspicion is illegal. The court might choose to exclude evidence from an improper stop. In addition, if the officer mistook a law violation or the police pulled over the wrong car, the stop could be illegal.
Testing and evaluations
The police can use breath and blood tests to determine blood alcohol levels. However, law enforcement must order and administer these tests appropriately. Otherwise, the court may exclude the test results as evidence. For instance, the person operating the breath testing must have the right certification. Also, the machine should be in working condition, with accurate calibration and documentation of periodic maintenance. Finally, blood test results must be free of laboratory errors.
Your rights during arrest
The police sometimes make procedural mistakes regarding an arrest that could aid your defense. For example, if a video of the stop and arrest is available, it must correspond to the police’s report on the incident. Also, law enforcement statements should not contain inconsistencies. Finally, if the police do not read you your Miranda Rights, the court might exclude some evidence from questioning following your arrest.
You deserve legal and fair treatment from law enforcement. Know your rights and protect yourself from improper police behavior.