Keep in mind that while certain laws and police practices vary from state-to-state, our information applies to practices that apply in all 50 states.

Traffic Stop

How To Avoid Getting a Traffic Ticket

You always wear your seatbelt — even when playing Grand Theft Auto. You yield to pedestrians — who have yet to be conceived. You drive so defensively that Chuck Hagel calls you for advice. You are The Most Careful Driver in the World! Okay, you might not be The Most Careful Driver in the World. […]

Traffic Stop

What are my rights at various “checkpoints”?

There are four general types of checkpoints you might encounter: DUI checkpoints, US border checkpoints, drug checkpoints, and TSA checkpoints. In a legal sense, they are not all created equal. So depending on which one you encounter, you’ll want to be prepared to flex your rights appropriately. DUI Checkpoints Sobriety checkpoints – also known as DUI checkpoints […]

General Questions

Am I allowed to record police?

This article by Steve Silverman originally appeared April 5, 2012 in Reason.com. It’s been updated to include new information regarding recent rulings in favor of citizens’ right to record police. Last week the City of Boston agreed to pay Simon Glik $170,000 in damages and legal fees to settle a civil rights lawsuit stemming from his 2007 felony […]

Traffic Stop

When can police use drug dogs?

In Illinois v. Caballes, the Supreme Court ruled that police do not need reasonable suspicion to use drug dogs to sniff a vehicle during a legitimate traffic stop. This decision stems from the case of Roy Caballes, who was pulled over for speeding and subsequently arrested for marijuana trafficking after a drug dog was brought […]

Traffic Stop

What if police say they smell marijuana?

If police say they smell marijuana, you’re in a tough situation. Courts have ruled that the odor of contraband gives officers probable cause to perform a search. For this reason, police are quick to claim that they smell something and sometimes they might even lie about it. … Continued

General Questions

How long can police detain you?

That depends. The answer is as long as it reasonably takes police to conduct the investigation. For example, if you’ve been stopped for speeding, police can technically only detain you long enough to check your paperwork and write you a speeding ticket. … Continued

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