At any time, in your car or walking down the street, you can have an encounter with the Cincinnati police.

If the police stop you, especially in your car, you must know how to protect yourself, your future, and your rights. If you feel your rights have been violated, you must contact an experienced Cincinnati felony and misdemeanor lawyer to ensure you are adequately and legally protected.

You have rights that pertain to different circumstances, but if you’re stopped while driving your car, some of the things the authorities can and cannot do are:

  • First, you must show the police your driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance, if they ask to see it. Additionally, upon the police’s request, passengers in your car must provide their name, date of birth, and address.
  • Police may also frisk anyone in your vehicle if they believe they may be armed.
  • Your car can be searched without a warrant if the police believe any evidence of criminal activity has occurred. For example, you may have been involved in a crime or have proof of a crime in your car. You must note that to protect yourself later, you and your passengers should make clear, and for the ”record,” that you do not consent to the search!
  • If you are stopped, and it leads to your arrest, the police may search the area of your vehicle that is within your reach and continue to search your car if they believe it contains further evidence pertaining to your arrest.
  • If you’re given a ticket, you must sign it. If you do not, you can be arrested. The place to object to the ticket is later in court.
  • Suppose you’re suspected of driving while drunk(OVI); the police will ask you to take a field physical or chemical test. If you refuse to accept or fail the test, your driver’s license will be suspended on the spot! Of course, you, and your defense lawyer, can appeal the license suspension in court.

So, there’s a lot that the police can do, and there may be numerous reasons for stopping you, and searching your vehicle is commonly always open to legal debate. If you feel that any of your rights were violated, obtaining the professional legal guidance of a Cincinnati criminal or misdemeanor defense attorney is mandatory.

What Should I Do If I’m Arrested and Taken To the Police Station?

First, most people agree on the need for effective but fair law enforcement. However, we must also understand our rights and responsibilities pertaining to the police. It always holds that everyone, including minors, has the right to courteous and respectful treatment by the police. If you feel your rights are violated, never attempt to deal with the situation at the scene; that is what your criminal or misdemeanor defense lawyer is for.

If you’ve been taken to the “station,” you do have the following rights:

  •  You have the right to remain silent, so use it! If they ask, you must tell them your name, address, and date of birth. For your protection, say no more until you have professional legal representation.
  • Always ask to see a lawyer immediately. If you can’t afford a private lawyer, one will be appointed for you. Don’t say anything without a lawyer.
  • After a reasonable time, you have the right to make a local phone call to a lawyer, bail bondsman, a relative, etc. The police cannot listen to calls made to your lawyer, but any others can be recorded.
  • You have the right to be taken before a judge the following court day after you’re charged.
  • Most importantly, only make decisions regarding your case once you have spoken with your lawyer.

Must the Police Ask My “Permission” to Search My Car or Me Before Doing So?

If there is no sign that a crime has been committed, and you’ve been asked to consent to a search by the police, you can refuse to allow it. If the police still search your car, you can file a formal complaint about the police officer(s) involved, and your lawyer will get any evidence found to be unusable in court.

Also, you are not required to answer any police questions or give permission to search your vehicle at any police “checkpoint.”

However, remember that the police are allowed to ask you questions and may conduct consensual searches if they believe a crime has been committed.

How Can My Lawyer Help Me If I Feel My Car Was Illegally Searched?

The Cincinnati police must have a legitimate legal reason for stopping you and follow strict protocols at every step of the search and arrest. If your vehicle was, in any way, illegally searched, your criminal defense lawyer may have any evidence gathered deemed inadmissible.

Some of the reasons the police may legally search your car are: 

  • They have a warrant –  A warrant gives police the right to search your car, home, person, or other property listed on the warrant, and only what’s listed on the warrant!
  • They have probable cause – Police may search your vehicle without a warrant if they have good reason to suspect that there is incriminating evidence.
  • If you permit them, you’ve given your consent – but it must be freely given. The search will not be legal if you are intimidated or coerced into giving consent.

If these legal protocols are not followed, there are myriad legalities that your knowledgeable, experienced criminal defense law team may use to combat any form of illegal search and seizure legally. Obtaining their professional legal guidance will be invaluable to protecting your rights and your freedom.

I Believe My Car Was Illegally Searched; How Should I Proceed?

Let’s say you’ve been stopped for a traffic violation; you should never consent to a search of you or your vehicle.

Also, if you, or your passengers, were searched at a traffic stop and any misdemeanor or criminal evidence is discovered, your lawyer will make sure that it will not be used against you.

In any situation where you believe your rights were violated, consulting with an aggressive, experienced criminal defense attorney is necessary. Your lawyer will investigate and determine if your search was justified and know precisely how to defend you, your rights, and your freedom legally.