Record the Traffic Stop and Call your Lawyer

Record the Traffic Stop and Call your Lawyer

The following are LEARN Channel tips (Nos. 4 and 8 in the video) that can help you avoid search and seizure and cannabis-related arrests.

Film the traffic stop and detention. Many states have laws against filming the police, but these laws are illegal and cannot be enforced. The Illinois Supreme Court and The First U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals both ruled that it is "clearly established in this circuit that police officers cannot, consistent with the Constitution, prosecute citizens for violating wiretapping laws when they peacefully record a police officer performing his or her official duties in a public area.” The officer is not allowed to make you turn your camera off, but make sure your phone has a lock-code on it in the event the officer gets agitated and decides to cease it from you. Your best bet is to inform the officers as soon as they pull you over or detain you that you are filming the detention. As long as you do not “interfere with police operations” (see Rule No. 5), you can legally film the interaction.

Keep a lawyer’s number handy. Every citizen has the right to a lawyer if you are arrested even if you can’t afford one. However, if you have a lawyer’s number and business card on hand, it can help prevent an arrest as the police officers will know they are dealing with an informed citizen. If they detain you or start to search your property, you should state, “I would like to contact my lawyer.” Even if you currently cannot afford a lawyer, that should not prevent you from asking a lawyer who practices criminal defense if you can call them in the event of an arrest for representation. Many lawyers will be more than happy to provide you with a number to call if you get detained or arrested.

Photo credit: Super Troopers. 

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Timothy Leary vs. Marihuana Tax Act

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Legal Rights: Driver vs. Passenger in a Traffic Stop

Nixon vs. Shafer Commission

Nixon vs. Lennon

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Richard Nixon's Drug War Turns 48

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The Substance Schedules

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The Start of Cannabis Prohibition

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