In the United States, police need probable cause to stop you. Speeding, making and illegal turn, or any motor vehicle violation can get you stopped as we all know. Once stopped, asking the officers stupid questions that have obvious answers (assuming you were actually conscious and paying at least half-attention to what is going on around you) while you are operating a motor vehicle gives them an ‘articulable suspicion’ that something is not right. This quirkiness, harmless as it may be, can be sufficient enough to detain you while they determine if you are a risk to others , yourself or property while you are operating the vehicle. What the officers observe while you are stopped can then be used to support further police actions – like arresting you for the drugs they saw in ‘plain view’ in the car while they were talking to you. When stopped for a motor vehicle violation, don’t get stupid, or wise-crack in a manner that suggests something’s not right. Officers are trained to believe yo might be trying to deflect attention away from something you wish not to be at the forefornt of a conversation. Furthemore anger that elicits cursing, belligerence, or defiance will not endear you to the woman or man in uniform. By answering questions politely and succinctly, you stand the best chance of being on your merry way, if you’re lucky, without a ticket. Asking the officers stupid questions once detained will only put you at risk for further detention, fines perhaps, or worse, handcuffs
If you feel the motor vehicle stop was unwarranted and this stop led to further detention that could be considered unlawful, then that may be something you wish to pursue with a lawyer. If you have questions on a matters such as this, or similar, call my office for a free consult as soon as possible to determine if there is a case to be made in your defense.
Howard W. Bailey, Esq.
550 Broad Street, Suite 601
Newark, NJ 07102