Reidsville, GA criminal attorney Matt Hube wants you to know your rights if you are stopped in Tattnall County, GA. Knowing your rights before you are stopped will better prepare you for what you should and should not do and say when you are stopped. Police are not required to tell you what they are investigating you for when they pull you over. While you may think you are simply being a traffic ticket, you may actually be under investigation for a DUI in Georgia, drug possession, drug sales, drug trafficking, or any other criminal matter.
The first thing you need to know when speaking to the police is whether you are being detained or are voluntarily talking with the police. The police do not need a legal justification to talk to someone who voluntarily agrees to speak with them, but must have a reasonable suspicion that a crime is or has been committed in order to detain you against your will. It is a good idea to ask the officer to tell you the first moment you are free to go. While they may or may not tell you that, it does provide you a defense if you are later arrested and charged with a crime.
Secondly, you do not have to answer questions about where you are coming from, or where you are going. The police are trained to ask these questions, and most people answer them freely. The problem is that even though you think the officer’s question is harmless chit-chat, he is actually trying to find out if you are going to, or coming from, an area known for criminal activity. If you tell him that you are, you will be subject to a higher level of scrutiny than you otherwise would be. It is best to simply tell the officer asking you questions like that you do not wish to engage in conversation with him, and ask him if you are free to leave. If he persists, tell him you will not speak to him without a lawyer present, and then call Reidsville, GA criminal attorney Matt Hube immediately.
Third, you do not have to consent to a search of your vehicle or your belongings. The officer is within the law to pat you down to make sure you do not have a weapon. He is not entitled to tell you to empty your pockets. If the officer tells you something is a command to empty your pockets, or that he is going to search your car, then you should clearly state that you do not consent to the search. If the officer persists, you should ask him whether he is asking you for your permission to search, or informing you that he is going to search.
Finally, you must give the officer your proof of insurance, driver’s license, and registration papers when he asks for them. The officer is entitled to ask for these documents, and your failure to produce them may result in your arrest or the issuance of a traffic ticket. Do not argue with the officer over his requests as doing so will only prolong the encounter.
We hope the information on this page is helpful. If you have been arrested and need a Reidsville, GA criminal attorney, then contact Matt Hube right now for a confidential case evaluation. You only have limited time to appeal the suspension of your driver’s license after being arrested for a DUI in Georgia, and you may only have a limited time to file certain protective and other motions in other criminal cases. Contact us right now.