Your Rights if Stopped by Police in Delaware County

If you've been stopped by a police officer in Delaware County, it's very important that you are aware of your rights. Knowledge is the key to avoiding an arrest and potential criminal charges.

Here are some of the most important rights you can flex during a traffic stop:

An officer can't pull you over unless they have probable cause.

An officer can't pull you over based on a mere hunch. They need a good reason, or “probable cause,” to make a stop based on the suspicion you've done something wrong. A cop must be able to identify that you've violated the law in some way to justify a stop. This violation could be (and often is) insignificant like the failure to use a turning signal, speeding, or driving with a broken taillight.

You have the right to refuse the search of your vehicle.

When a police officer pulls you over, they might ask for you to search your vehicle. This question is a method that many law enforcement officers use to get you to waive your Fourth Amendment rights - which protects citizens from unwarranted searches and seizures. Even if you feel like there isn't anything incriminating in your vehicle, the answer to a search should always be no. If you even so much as indicate your consent to a search, anything an officer finds - whether you're aware of its presence or not - can be used as justification to constitute an arrest.

It's important to note that if you refuse a search, an officer may not always respect this refusal. An officer may still perform a search without your consent, but they will still have to provide their reasons for the search in a police report.

You have the right to stay in your vehicle.

There is no law that requires you to get out during a stop, so it's perfectly legal to remain in your vehicle. When officers make the request for a person to step out of their car, it's usually a precautionary measure. They may be concerned that you may be hiding any concealed weapons. But remember, your safety should be considered too. Based on your interactions with an officer, you can gauge whether or not it's in your best interest to get out of the car upon the request of an officer or to stay seated.

You must be “Mirandized” before you can be asked about a crime.

The police are required to read a suspect a Miranda Warning before they intend to bring them into custody and interrogate them. It is then, and only then when they can attempt to ask you specific details about your incident. Regardless, it's recommended that you don't say anything to the authorities without an attorney present.

Delaware County Criminal Defense Attorney

When you've been stopped, protecting yourself should be your main priority. The most effective way of doing so is to retain a skilled Delaware County criminal defense attorney. Legal professional Joseph D. Lento has successfully represented countless clients who've acquired misdemeanor and felony charges and has helped them get their sentence reduced, and their charges dismissed. For a case evaluation, contact him today online or by phone at (215) 535-5353.

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Attorney Joseph D. Lento has nearly a decade of experience successfully resolving clients' criminal charges in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania counties. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you or a loved one, contact the Lento Law Firm today! Criminal defense attorney Joseph D. Lento will go above and beyond the needs of any client, and will fight until the final bell rings.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania and New Jersey attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations – the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website. In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Berks, Lancaster, Lehigh, and Northampton County. In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County, Outside of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance is educational advice, and does not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.

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