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Your rights when you're pulled over by the police

If you have an interaction with the police while driving, it can be a scary and nerve-racking experience. You must comply with the police if they signal you to pull over, and you should also make clear that you are willing to follow all of their requests.

While it is important that you follow the demands of the police, it is also vital that you take the time to understand the rights you have after being pulled over by law enforcement officials. By doing so, you will be able to take action if your rights were violated, and you also may be able to use rights violations as part of a criminal defense strategy.

Police cannot use excessive force

In certain situations, olice officers have the right to use force after they have pulled over a driver. They can physically enforce orders or use physical restraint when the civilian is not following orders, presents a danger or is attempting to flee the scene. This physical force must be proportionate to the situation, however. If you believe that a police officer used unnecessary or excessive force against you when you were pulled over, you may want to consider taking legal action.

Police officers cannot always search your vehicle

If you are pulled over by police because of a traffic violation, the police are not generally permitted to search your vehicle. However, there are exceptions to this rule. For example, if the police officer has reason to suspect that you are hiding something in your vehicle, they may be able to take legitimate action to conduct a search.

You don't have to give information to the police

It's a good idea to avoid being hostile with police. While you should give them the basic information that they demand of you, remind yourself of your right to be silent. Make sure that you exercise caution in giving the police information before you have spoken to a lawyer.

If you have recently been pulled over by the police and you are unsure of whether you had your rights violated, you should take the time to understand the law in Texas.

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