Understanding your rights during traffic stops in Arizona

Understanding your rights during traffic stops in Arizona

| Jul 15, 2020 | Firm News

Almost every driver in Arizona and the rest of the U.S. will be pulled over by the police at one point or another. It’s important for drivers to understand their rights and the best ways to handle traffic stops.

In Arizona, drivers have the right to safety during traffic stops. While drivers are required to pull over as soon as they see officers driving behind them with their lights flashing, they aren’t required to pull over if they think conditions are unsafe. If a driver is supposed to pull over on a dark, winding road or on a busy highway, he or she should turn on the hazard lights and proceed a short distance until it’s possible to safely stop.

Officers are required to have probable cause to pull drivers over. The officer should alert the driver about the reason for the stop, and drivers are allowed to ask for clarification if they don’t understand the reason why they have been pulled over for a traffic violation. Drivers also have the right to take video recordings of any traffic stops if they feel uncomfortable, as long as they’re pulled over on public property. If an officer requests a vehicle search without providing probable cause, a driver may deny consent to search, too. An example of probable cause would be the smell of marijuana coming from the vehicle.

Most individuals spend a great deal of time in their vehicles, which means there’s a good chance that they might be bound to make mistakes. The situations surrounding traffic stops can vary, and it’s imperative that drivers understand their rights whenever they’re pulled over by the police. For individuals who have received traffic citations, an experienced attorney may be able to assist with fighting the citations or violations.