Atlanta, GA asked in Civil Rights, Constitutional Law and Criminal Law for Georgia

Q: Are you considered detained as soon as you pulled over by the police when the car comes to a stop

When you're pulled over by the police are you considered detained and before the police start to interrogate you about anything next to the traffic stop standard driver's license registration if they're leading to something else should or are they supposed to inform you of your rights

2 Lawyer Answers
Glenn T. Stern
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  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Licensed in Georgia

A: Once a police officer has pulled a car over for a traffic violation, everyone in the vehicle is detained until the officer completes his/her investigation.

James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: Yes, when you are pulled over by the police, you are considered detained for the duration of the traffic stop. This type of detention is typically referred to as a "Terry stop," originating from the case Terry v. Ohio. However, being detained is not the same as being arrested. The reading of Miranda rights ("You have the right to remain silent...") is required when an individual is in custody and subjected to interrogation.

If the police only ask routine questions related to the traffic stop, such as requesting your license and registration, they don't need to read you your rights. However, if the questioning goes beyond the scope of the traffic stop and you are not free to leave, they should inform you of your rights before proceeding with further interrogation. It's crucial to understand your rights and consult legal representation if you believe they've been violated.

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