From Albert A. Flores:
If I think back to most of the search and seizure issues that I have tackled in court, I can honestly say that the vast majority of them began as seemingly innocent traffic stops. As a general principle, you must understand that a police officer or federal agent does not have the right to search a vehicle, house, or personal property without probable cause. In the course of a traffic stop or any kind of investigation, if you are asked for permission to search any of these items, you have the absolute right to say NO! Make sure you are clear to the officer that you are not giving him permission to search and under no circumstances should you or anybody else sign any consent to search form. In the end, they may search your vehicle anyway but as least you have preserved your objection.
Once you have made your objections to a search or questioning known, that should end your involvement. If you want to preserve your issue further you may want to ask that a supervisor be present. Your refusal of a search should be a passive event. Do not under any circumstances attempt to stop or impede law enforcement from conducting a search! This may lead to additional charges filed against you.
You also have the absolute right to remain silent. If you are being investigated, questioned or interrogated, you have the right to remain silent and request an attorney. Use it! Law enforcement cannot force you to speak against your will, and once you request an attorney all questioning must stop. You are only obligated to identify yourself, and that is it. Well-trained officers often try to get information from you by saying things such as, “This won’t take long,” “You can only help yourself,” “This is the only chance you will get to give your version of the story,” or “Why not talk if you have nothing to hide?” Keep in mind that anything you say, however innocent you may think it is, can be used against you at a later date. If you really want to talk, at least do it with the assistance of a knowledgeable attorney at your side. Never voluntarily go to a police station or federal agency to give a statement. When in doubt, call an attorney.
This advice is for informational purposes only. It should not be considered legal advice.