When it comes to issuing traffic tickets, some law enforcement officers have developed a variety of tricks that are used to confuse or even implicate a driver in a crime that they may or may not have committed. This is the reason that drivers should fully understand their rights and remain wary of these 5 questions that are commonly used to trick them out of their rights during traffic stops.
Do You Know Why I Pulled You Over?
This is often one of the first questions an officer will ask and a common moment in which drivers may incriminate themselves. Many attempt to lessen their charges by coming up with something they believe they did wrong, but drivers have absolutely no obligation to respond to this question. In fact, the law enforcement officers will tell drivers why they have been pulled over, whether or not the driver asked.
Do You Know How Fast You Were Going?
Much like an officer asking the driver why they were pulled over, they may also ask the driver if they know how fast they were going?
- Even replying “no officer” can be used in court to claim that the driver was being unsafe by not knowing how fast they were going.
- Keeping quiet and calm is the best policy in this situation as anything a driver says can be twisted and used in court.
Can I Look Through Your Vehicle?
Traffic officers do not have a right to search a vehicle or frisk a driver unless they have probable cause that the driver is armed or engaging in criminal activity.
- Officers will often pose this question to sound like a command or ask the driver to step out of the vehicle, and this is one area where every driver needs to know his or her rights.
- An officer may even ask questions like ‘what do you have to hide’ in order to confuse the driver, but drivers have the option to simply state ‘I do not consent to this search’.
However, it is best for the drivers to not attempt to physically refuse a search or frisking as even touching an officer can result in a felony.
Will You Please Look At The Tip of This Pen?
While this one may sound a bit odd, it is actually a very common tactic to have a driver “voluntarily” carry out a field sobriety test known as a nystagmus test.
- Also referred to as the HGN test, the officer will have the driver stare at the end of a pen and move it around to see if the driver has been drinking.
- At no point do drivers ever have to carry out any field sobriety tests and they may politely decline this one as well.
- Drivers are not legally obliged to be tested until they are officially arrested.
How Many Drinks Have You Had Tonight?
A driver may never feel as if they must give an officer any information outside of their license, registration, and proof of insurance. In addition to this question, officers may also ask questions such as:
- Where are you coming from?
- Where are you going?
- Why are you out so late?
At no point are the drivers ever obliged to answer any of such questions as even giving vague, reasonable, or honest answers can be used against the driver in court.
Traffic stops are often confusing or even tense for drivers, and this is why it is so important for everyone to understand their rights. Law enforcement can use traffic stops as a method for drivers to incriminate themselves, and this is why it is vital to stay calm, stay polite, and refrain from answering questions that you don’t intend to.