In Progress
Lesson 1, Topic 4
In Progress

Maintain Your Car

Mel Dowdell June 25, 2020

Another way to avoid getting stop by the police is to maintain your car in good order.

1. Duties & Responsibility

Law enforcement officers should respond with courtesy during traffic stops and other officer/citizen interactions.

  • Officers should treat motorists with dignity and respect.
  • Officer should explain to a driver that when a citation is issued.
  • Officer should instruct drivers to read the information provided on the citation regarding the driver’s obligation to appear in court.
  • Officers are not required by state law to provide their names or badge numbers to a driver but may do so if required to by agency policy.
2. Comply with Officer Request

Drivers and passengers should respond with courtesy during traffic stops.

  • Although it is lawful for you to remain silent during a traffic stop.
  • You are required by law to truthfully identify yourself when asked to do so by an officer.
  • A driver or passenger can be arrested for giving false identifying information to an officer.
  • Although you have the right to remain silent, it may be beneficial to verbally provide identifying and address information to an officer if you cannot present your license.
3. Driver & Passenger Instructions

Driver and passengers should respond with courtesy during traffic stops.

A passenger in a vehicle should receive instructions advising asked questions by an officer while being detained.

A passenger can ask an officer if he or she is being detained or if he or she is free to leave.

A passenger has the right to leave if he or she is not being detained.

Although it is lawful for you to remain silent during a traffic stop, you are required by law to truthfully identify yourself when asked to do so by an officer.

A driver or passenger can be arrested for giving false identifying information to an officer.

4. Consensual & Non-consensual Search

  • An officer may conduct a non consensual search based on an officer’s observation that you have responded in a way to make the officer believe that you have engaged in a criminal act or are about to engage in a criminal act.
  • When seeking to perform a consensual search, officers should elicit clear consent for the search, including when practicable, a signed statement or video recorded affirmative consent to the search from the motorist.
  • If an officer suspects that a weapon is on your person, the officer may conduct a pat-down search of your clothing.
  • A driver may not physically resist the search but has the right to notify the officer that he or she does not consent to any further search. Consent to a search may later be used in court.
5. What If You Are Arrested?

When the police arrest someone, they take away that person's fundamental right to freedom. Consequently, there are several procedures the police must follow before they can make a legal arrest so that our rights remain protected.

Many states and police departments add extra procedures. These extra procedures might be designed to: protect police officers' physical safety, help the officer document the arrest, or help the officer avoid making a legal mistake which could ruin the prosecution's case.

There are only a very limited number of circumstances in which an officer may make an arrest:

  • The officer personally observed a crime.
  • The officer has probable cause to believe that person arrested committed a crime.
  • The officer has an arrest warrant issued by a judge.
  • The officer must read you your Miranda rights.

An officer cannot arrest someone just because she feels like it or has a hunch that someone might be a criminal.

6. Miranda Rights