Search Site
Menu

What Are Your Rights When Police Stop You in Indiana?

If you get pulled over by police, remember that the officer is the one in control of the situation. But remember also that you have rights, and the officer cannot simply do anything he or she wants during the stop. Knowing your rights as a driver can help reduce the risk of being charged with crimes stemming from the traffic stop and can help you avoid being taken advantage of by cops.

Law enforcement in Indiana can make a traffic stop in these circumstances:

  • Reasonable suspicion — This means a police officer reasonably believes that the vehicle (or its driver or passenger) is involved in criminal activity. For example, an officer might notice that your car matches the description of a vehicle that was spotted at the scene of a crime. Or, you may be weaving between lanes without signaling, making the officer suspect you are driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Welfare check — Police may sometimes stop vehicles to check on drivers because someone is concerned for the driver’s safety. For example, if a car is parked in front of a home for an hour and the homeowner sees someone inside who isn’t moving, the homeowner could call the police and ask them to come out and see if the driver is ok.

If you are stopped by law enforcement, an officer will likely approach your vehicle. They will be watching for sudden movements, so stay calm with your hands visible. Don’t exit the car unless the officer asks you to step out. The officer may ask questions or give you instructions. This is where it helps to understand your constitutional rights. You have the right to do the following:

  • Refuse to consent to a search of your vehicle or your person. If officers ask for consent, it means they do not have probable cause to search, so the only way they can conduct a legal search is if you give permission.
  • Remain silent and not answer any questions other than providing your name, driver’s license and proof of insurance.
  • Request an attorney before answering any questions.

In addition to knowing these rights, you should also know that drivers are legally obligated to cooperate with law enforcement to a reasonable extent. You must provide your license and insurance upon request. You must exit your vehicle if asked. Failure to do so is a crime. Further, do not argue with the officer or claim that the stop is illegal. Rather, allow the stop to unfold naturally. Your attorney can review the situation afterwards to determine if the officers acted unlawfully and can take appropriate legal action.

The Law Office of Weiss, Schmidgall and Hires, P.C. helps people who believe they were unlawfully stopped and then charged with a crime. Our Indiana criminal defense attorneys are here to protect your constitutional rights. Call our Merrillville office at 219-293-8988 or contact us online to get a free consultation with a lawyer today.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Christopher R. Schmidgall Attorney Photo
Christopher R. Schmidgall
Member

For more than ten years, Christopher Schmidgall has protected the lives of people who find themselves caught in the tangled machinery of criminal prosecution. With the skill and determination he’s demonstrated throughout his life, Chris offers them the help they need to get their lives back in order. Not long after graduating from Valparaiso...

Amanda C. Hires Attorney Photo
Amanda C. Hires
Member

Following a remarkably accomplished academic career, Amanda Hires applied her record of success to servicing good people facing difficult situations. She served as a volunteer at the New Orleans Public Defender’s Office and worked intensively with prosecutors and defense attorneys while under the guidance of Judge Sheila Moss at the Lake County Superior Court...

Jessica McPheeters Attorney Photo
Jessica McPheeters
Associate

Jessica McPheeters is an associate attorney with her primary focus being in Estate Planning, Probate, Business Formation and Planning, and other general practice matters. Jessica received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Economics from Ball State University in 2014. Jessica then received her Juris Doctor from Valparaiso University School of Law...

Ratings & Reviews
  • lawyers
    5.0/5.0

    I am VERY pleased with this Law Firm and will most definitely recommend to friends and family!! I had almost lost my job as a driver. I hold a CDL. I had 45 calendar days to get it resolved in which I did not think it was going to happen. Amanda H...

    Read more

    Client

  • google
    5.0/5.0

    If you're looking for an expundgment this is the place to call!! The process was quick and affordable!! If it wasn't for the help and care I recieved here I wouldn't have my brand new start in my life today! I passed my first background check and rec...

    Read more

    Nykkie Dee

  • google
    5.0/5.0

    Chris and his staff have help my get back on track. When I need guidance on my finances Chris helped me make the best decision. I’m less than 2yrs I was debt free! He is the type of attorney that is always willing to help. My family and friends all...

    Read more

    juana flores

  • lawyers
    5.0/5.0

    I have made some bad decisions in my life time with my credit. Being young I didn’t know that one day I would want to live a normal life. I didn’t care at the time about my credit at all. I met Mr. Schmidgall about two years ago. I’ve been goin...

    Read more

    Client

  • google
    5.0/5.0

    Great people

    Read more

    David Thomas Jr

See all reviews
Contact us

Quick Contact Form