The thought of being pulled over by the police can be frightening. However, you must know police officers cannot stop you unless they have reasonable suspicion that you have committed a crime or a traffic violation. This is your right under the Fourth Amendment, which protects you from unreasonable searches and seizures by the police. If an officer pulls you over without a good reason, the court could drop your charges.
Traffic stops in Colorado
The law states that a police officer cannot stop someone unless they have reasonable suspicion. The officer’s suspicion needs to be based on specific facts and circumstances, not feelings or hunches. For example, a police officer could stop you if you run a red light, constantly swerve or drive at high speeds.
What to do
If you do something that catches the officer’s attention and they stop you, you must remain calm. Getting angry or protesting would only make things worse. Keep your hands on the wheel and wait until the officer asks for your license and registration. If the officer asks questions, remember that you have the right to remain silent. You will not face punishment for remaining silent.
If the police still have suspicions after the stop, they may ask you to step out of the car. They may also ask to search the vehicle. You can refuse this search, but it would be legal for them to carry it out if the officer had reasonable suspicion or saw evidence of a crime in your car.
Your rights as a driver
The police cannot stop anyone they want to see their driver’s license or invade their privacy. If an officer ever stops you without probable cause to do so, the stop or arrest would be invalid. This means that the court could eliminate a person’s charges if they prove that the police stopped them without a good reason. The constitution protects our right to privacy, and you can fight for it in court if you are ever a victim of an unreasonable stop, search or seizure.