police ohio

When you are stopped by police, it can be a stressful situation. You never want to say or do something that could jeopardize your freedom. Whether you’re driving or walking, you need to know your rights when stopped by police in Ohio. Let’s explore what you need to do when interacting with law enforcement. 

What Information to Provide

When the police have stopped you, you do have to provide basic information to them. For example, you must give your name, address, and date of birth. While you might not feel obligated to provide this information, if you fail to do so, you could face a criminal charge, such as obstruction of justice. 

There are a few other scenarios when you might need to provide additional information to the officer. If you are operating a motor vehicle in Ohio, you are required to present your driver’s license. All drivers must have a valid license to drive on the roads. Refusing to provide it could also result in legal consequences. 

However, not all police encounters are the result of a motor vehicle stop. If you have a non-driving interaction with an officer, you are not obligated to show identification beyond the required name, address, and date of birth. 

Your Rights During a Stop

A police stop or detention can take many forms, such as a traffic stop, a pedestrian encounter, or being questioned by an officer. In any of these situations, your movement is restricted. Even if you are stopped, you still have rights that must be protected. 

For these stops to be lawful, the officer must have reasonable suspicion that you are involved in or have information about criminal activity. The reasons for your temporary detention can vary, from witnessing a crime to having an outstanding warrant. 

You have the right to ask why you are being detained. Along with that, you also have the right to know if you are free to leave. Once again, the officer must have some cause to detain you throughout this time. 

If you are asked questions, you have the right to remain silent during a stop. This means you don’t have to answer questions beyond that basic identifying information. Even if you have not been read your Miranda rights, you can still choose to remain silent.

You don’t want to answer any questions by asserting your right to remain silent. However, do it in a polite yet firm manner. You can say something like, “I choose to remain silent,” to clearly communicate your decision. While it can be frustrating to be stopped by the police, if you act in a combative manner, that could give a reason for the officer to place you under arrest. 

Sometimes, the officer will want to search your vehicle. You do have the right to refuse unless law enforcement has a search warrant. However, if the officer has a reasonable suspicion to search the vehicle, they can. For example, if you are stopped and there is clear evidence of drugs in the vehicle, the officer can conduct a search. 

Police do not need a warrant under the state’s automobile exception. Also, if you have a passenger, the officer must get permission from them to search their personal effects. 

Learn More About Your Rights

Whether you are pulled over in a vehicle or detained on the sidewalk, officers need to follow certain laws. That is why it is important to know your rights when stopped by police in Ohio. 

Whether you have committed a crime or not, you are granted certain rights under the law. If you have been arrested and believe the officer may have acted unconstitutionally, contact Hunt Law LLC. We are here to help protect your rights. To arrange a free consultation, please call 330-469-9836.