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What actions to take when stopped by a police officer in Texas

What Actions To Take When Stopped By A Police Officer In Texas?

When the police apprehend you, you first ask yourself: What have I done wrong? You may wonder what the specific offense you have committed is or if there is anything wrong with you that caught the attention of the police. If you know your rights, you will not panic. Hence it is crucial to know all your rights so that whenever the police apprehend you, you know how to protect yourself. Car accidents in Texas occur daily, and if you are unfortunate to be involved in one, you need a car accident lawyer in Houston to get you out of trouble.

More likely, the only time the police can stop you is when the traffic lights turn red at the traffic stop and you commit a traffic violation. Traffic violations are only minor infractions of the law that shall not cause you unnecessary worry. However, it is still helpful to be familiar with what the law provides so that when the police apprehend you, you are sure they only do what is required.

Traffic violations are not severe, but it will help you greatly if you know how to defend yourself during an emergency when you have no one to run to or ask. It is essential to identify whether what the police do is acceptable or within legal bounds.

The Police Must Have a Reason to Stop You

The police cannot just stop you without any valid reason. The police must have a good reason to stop you, and there must be probable cause to make the police believe that you have just committed an offense or are about to commit a crime. Otherwise, the police will have to face charges for abusing their powers. 

The police cannot use their influence outside the scope of their authority. They will have to face administrative or even criminal charges if they go beyond their power to the prejudice of private citizens. A car accident lawyer in Houston will protect you from possible arbitrariness by the police. A car accident lawyer in Houston knows when the police are correct and when they are wrong. If the police do not perform their functions correctly, a car accident lawyer in Houston knows what to do to hold the police accountable for their wrongdoings.

Do not Panic when the Police Stop You

The last thing that you should do is panic whenever the police stop you. Panicking does more harm than good. The truth is, panicking will not solve anything. As long as you are confident that you did not commit any offense, there is no reason to panic. If, however, you know that you committed a crime, stay calm and remember all your rights. Although understandably, the typical human response towards police authorities is fear or nervousness, it is much better to keep yourself together and be logical with your actions. 

The police will not harm you. The role of the police is to ensure public order and safety. They must maintain the peace in any locality. Thus, there is no need to panic when the police approach you. 

Right to be Free from Unreasonable Searches and Seizures

When driving your vehicle and suddenly the police stop you, remember that one of the fundamental rights embodied in the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution is the freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures. This right guarantees that the police cannot arbitrarily search your vehicle without justifiable cause. A specific unusual behavior or reason may lead the police to believe that an offense has been committed or is about to be committed. The police may think that you are involved in something illegal to be able to search your vehicle.

For example, when in plain view or at the mere sight of the police, they see a dangerous weapon in your vehicle and have the right to search it. Carrying a dangerous weapon gives the police some suspicion that you have been involved in an illegal activity or are about to be involved in one. Thus, if the police see a firearm in your car and when they confiscate it, they find out that it is not registered under your name, they are allowed to search your vehicle. 

The police may search the rest of your car because they are duty-bound to maintain the peace in your place. If the police catch you carrying illegal items, they must ensure that other people will be safe from them, so they have to confiscate these illicit items and find out if other things in the car may cause the same harm.

Another example is when you turn down your windows, and the police see in plain view or a direct sight that you are carrying illegal drugs. In this situation, the police have the right to confiscate such items and search your vehicle for any other illegal items in your possession. This act is allowed because the police have probable cause to believe that you have committed an offense or are about to commit an offense.

The General Rule is that the Police must Possess a Warrant before Searching Your Vehicle

Generally, police must possess a warrant before searching your vehicle. The Constitution of the United States provides this basic right. Thus, when the police attempt to search your vehicle, you should ask them if they have the warrant to do so. Otherwise, whatever items they will seize from your vehicle is inadmissible in evidence if these items are presented to the court to prove that you committed a crime. This rule is called the fruit of the poisonous tree legal doctrine.

The legal doctrine of the fruit of the poisonous tree, when applied to vehicle searches by the police, means that the police cannot present as evidence anything that they obtained from you illegally. Thus, when circumstances require that the police have a warrant before the search but did not have one, the items they confiscated from you are excluded as valid evidence when presented to the court. This legal doctrine protects you from both illegal and unreasonable searches and seizures.

However, this is just the general rule. There are exceptions to this rule. One exception is when in plain view or by mere eyesight, the police find illegal items in your car. They have the right to search the rest of your car. The police need not be armed with a warrant when they see that you are carrying items that you do not have the right to possess or the items you are carrying are illegal.

Violation Tickets Issued by the Police for Traffic Offenses

Car accidents in Texas are common. When you violate certain traffic laws, rules, and regulations, and the police stop you, the first question they will ask is whether you have a valid driver’s license. When you have it, you need to show it. As long as you carry a valid driver’s license with you, the police may only issue a ticket showing the traffic offense that you have committed and the fine that you need to pay as a penalty. It would help if you settled this fine with the concerned office. Do not be afraid because you will not go to jail for infractions of the law, such as a violation of a mere traffic offense.  

If you only committed a minor traffic offense and the police threaten you that you will be put in jail or threaten you with something that they cannot do legally, you need a car accident lawyer in Houston to protect your rights.

Defense Lawyers at O’Hara Law Firm

When you encounter car accidents in Texas, you need a car accident lawyer in Houston. O’Hara Law Firm takes pride in many years of commendable service to its clients. O’Hara Law Firm has several car accident lawyers in Houston who can help defend your case when you are involved in car accidents in Texas. The lawyers will fight for your rights and make sure that the police will not harm you or threaten you. Do not allow yourself to be powerless. It would help if you had a defense lawyer who is competent and knowledgeable about the law so that you will not be disadvantaged by the situation.

Car accidents in Texas are sometimes inevitable. It is best to call a good defense lawyer with the purest intentions to help you in your case. O’Hara Law Firm has good car accident lawyers in Houston who are willing to extend their legal services with utmost sincerity and respect to their clients. They will explain to you matters that have legal consequences. They will file the necessary pleadings and court submissions to protect your rights.

Car accident lawyers in Houston will help you become aware of your rights and guide you in the process of seeking justice. When you encounter a car accident in Texas, do not be afraid because you can seek assistance from O’Hara Law Firm.

Car Accident Attorney Houston, TX