Tag Archives: what to do in a traffic stop

Why You Should Never Consent to a Search of Your Car

The 4th Amendment protects us from unreasonable searches of our bodies, homes and cars, among other things. There seems to be an epidemic of cases where police officers stop someone for a minor traffic violation, then pressures the driver into consenting to a search of their car.  Of course we only know of cases where drugs have been found; those are the cases we see in the appellate courts. Who knows how many times cops have searched vehicles and found nothing?

what to do if pulled over by police in Georgia

I am sure you have seen cars stopped by police while traveling on our expressways.  Because of my law practice, I pay particular attention when I see these instances; even though I may be traveling by at a fast speed, when I pass a stopped car and I see officers searching the car, I pay close attention. Many times, quite frankly, the drivers are either black or Hispanic.

No doubt these police officers are “profiling” drivers of color; they pull over the drivers on minor traffic offenses (or make one up), with the express intention of searching the car for drugs. This is the routine: cop pulls you over, say for speeding, takes your license, and after having checked on your license status comes back and asks if he/she can search the car for drugs. If you say “no,” the officer threatens you. The officer may ask you why you are exercising your rights, and ultimately will threaten to “bring the drug dog” if you will not give consent to a search.  Fortunately, the Georgia Appellate courts have sided with our Forefathers in upholding the 4th Amendment in these cases. In the past 12 months alone, the Georgia Appeals Courts have reversed 4 or 5 trial courts who have ruled these searches as legal. 

You might say, “Well I don’t carry illegal drugs in my car, so who cares?”  As a middle aged white male who doesn’t fit the profile of a drug courier, I really don’t have much expectation that a cop will ask if he can search my car.  But if you have children, and especially if you are black or Latino, the truth is that there is a high likelihood that at some point in time they will be stopped and will be asked to consent to a search.  

I recently won a motion to throw out such a search, where my 20 year old client was stopped for a brake light being out; she had not been drinking, nor was there any evidence which would have indicated she had any drugs in her car.  After 28 minutes of threats by the officer, who eventually called a drug dog, my client “consented” to a search.  A half pill of methadone was found in the car; this was a car that had been used by several members of her family, so in reality she did not know what was in her car.  Because the stop was for a brake light and because there was no probable cause to prolong the stop and ask for a search, the case was thrown out against my client.

In addition to DUI defense, I handle any case involving the stop of vehicles by police, including felony drug cases.  Hiring a qualified, knowledgeable DUI attorney can be very beneficial to winning your case.  If you are arrested for DUI or other serious traffic violations, contact me, Mickey Roberts, today. Also be sure to follow MrGaDUI on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for more traffic law updates and news.

4 Rules to Live By if You Are Stopped by Police: A New Spin

You probably know by now that as an experienced DUI lawyer, I am an advocate for simple tips that can save you a lot of trouble if you are ever faced with an under-the-influence dilemma. Due to changing conditions in the law world, I’ve revamped my 4 Simple Rules to reflect the best behaviors you can practice in a traffic stop. Though nothing is ever simple when it comes to traffic stops, these rules are proven to help.

what to do if pulled over by police in Georgia
  1. Never admit to drinking or anything else. This rule has remained constant throughout the years. This does not mean deny drinking, it means do not admit or deny drinking or anything else. If you admit drinking, then he or she should ask you what you were drinking, how much, and when. You help an officer tremendously in proving you guilty of DUI when you admit to having multiple drinks, regardless of any other evidence that would tend to prove you were not impaired. 
  2. Do not submit to any roadside field sobriety evaluations.  Roadside tests are voluntary, but an officer doesn’t have to tell you as much. While he/she may show you how to do the evaluations, they never tell you exactly how they are “scoring.” If there is no video evidence, a cop can basically say anything in his report about how you performed on the evaluation. In fact, most DUI Task Force officers admit that they would not take the field sobriety tests if asked. Just say no.
  3. Invoke your 4th Amendment right against unreasonable searches. Though this only works in certain situations, you do have the right to refuse an unreasonable search.  There are current cases on appeal which involve the issue that a warrantless search of a person’s blood, breath, urine, so forth, may violate the 4th Amendment, and that the police can easily obtain a search warrant now, in a DUI case, for blood. Also, one should NEVER consent to a warrantless search of one’s car.
  4. If you take the State chemical test, always ask for an independent test of your “other bodily substance,” such as hair or saliva.  If you refuse to take the state chemical test, not only are you subject to losing your license for a full year with no permit, you may also have your blood drawn with the results being used against you. Once you do take the designated State tests, you are entitled to an independent test of your own choosing of your blood, breath, urine, or other bodily substances (such as hair or saliva). This way, the burden shifts to the officer to reasonably accommodate your request or the State test cannot be used against you.

Regardless of the situation at hand, do your best to remain focused on not providing evidence that would tend to prove your guilt of DUI.  For more information, contact me, Mickey Roberts. Be sure to follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Google+ for Georgia law updates and news.

Contact MrGADUI

Please leave this field empty.

Archives

Newsletter

Location

Disclaimer

The above information is intended to help educate members of the Georgia motoring public as to their rights under the law and to assist presumptively innocent citizens in properly asserting those rights. Information within this site should not be misconstrued as legal advice.
what to do in a traffic stop