Matter of Law

We welcome Frank bemis of Bemis & Rossignol back for another edition of Matter of Law. Welcome back ferank...

This week regarding everything that's going on in the news between communities and law enforcement we discuss people's rights and search and seizure.

The Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution protects people from unreasonable searches and seizures. As this relates to the stopping of a motor vehicle, to support a brief investigatory stop of a motor vehicle a police officer must have an objectively reasonable, articulable suspicion that either criminal conduct, a civil violation, or a threat to public safety has occurred, is occurring, or is about to occur.

Police officers must balance three competing interest: public safety, effective law enforcement and the constitutional rights of motorists and their passengers to be left alone.

After stopping a motorist, a police officer may ask for a driver's license, registration and proof of insurance.

What should motorists do if they are stopped?

Pull over immediately

Turn off the car

Put your hands on the wheel and wait for the officer

Provide your license, registration and proof of insurance upon request.

I disagree with the man I met at the Circle K who claimed you don't need to.

If an officer requests to search your car, you may decline. You might say, " I don't consent to searches." You can waive you rights without even knowing it.

Be polite.