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Searches after being stopped by an officer

On Behalf of | Sep 7, 2022 | Criminal Defense

After being stopped by a police officer in Tennessee, you might think that you will be required to allow the officer to search your vehicle and your personal possessions. While there are some instances when this would be necessary, you do have rights that can sometimes keep an officer from looking too closely inside your vehicle.

Silence

If you are stopped by an officer, a detail of criminal law to keep in mind is that you do have the right to remain silent. It’s a good idea to provide your name and basic information, but after that, you don’t have to say anything until you have an attorney present. If you can’t afford an attorney, you do have the right to have one appointed to you so that you have fair legal representation. The officer doesn’t need to know any details about where you’ve been or where you’re going unless there is a clear indication that you have something in plain sight in your vehicle or unless the officer can clearly smell a substance on your person.

Searching

Even though an officer might pat you down to make sure you don’t have any weapons or drugs, you do have the right to refuse a search of your vehicle and your other possessions. An officer could continue to search your vehicle, but this could be used in court in your defense if nothing is found or if there was no probable cause. Try to stay as calm as possible without lying or giving the officer any reason to want to search your vehicle so that you can get on your way.

If you’re stopped by an officer, you don’t always have to allow the person inside your car as you do have basic rights.

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