What to Do If You're Pulled Over in a Traffic Stop
INSIDE EDITION has looked into your rights after Officer Ray Tensing was charged with murdering a motorist, Sam DuBose, in a traffic stop in Ohio.
What should you do when you are pulled over by a cop? Just what are your rights and your obligations?
INSIDE EDITION is taking a look at your rights after University of Cincinnati Police Officer Ray Tensing, 25, was charged with murdering a motorist, 43-year-old Sam DuBose.
Tensing claimed that he shot DuBose dead in self-defense after he was dragged by his car, but footage from the officer's bodycam seems to dispute his claim. He was arraigned in DuBose's murder on Thursday and the judge set his bond at $1 million.
Officer Chris Franco of the Mount Pleasant Police Department in New York showed INSIDE EDITION what to do if you're pulled over.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) also provides information about your rights.
The organization says you should pull over in a safe place and keep your hands where the police can see them, i.e. on the steering wheel.
If the law enforcement officer asks for your license, registration and proof of insurance, you must show them. But even though you have to show these documents, you do not have to answer questions and have the right to remain silent.
Officers can also ask you to step outside of the car, and they may separate passengers and drivers from each other to question them and compare their answers, but no one – including passengers - has to answer any questions.
If you are a passenger, you can ask if you are free to leave, and if the officer says yes, leave calmly.
When it comes to searching your car, police can only do so if you give them your consent or if they have "probable cause" to believe criminal activity has taken place or that you have evidence of a crime in your car.
If you do not want your car searched, you do not have to consent. If this is the case, clearly state that you do not consent.
The officer cannot use your refusal to give consent as a basis for doing a search, the ACLU says.
The organization also suggests you should stay calm and polite, should not obstruct police, lie or give false documents.
You can see more about your rights on the ACLU website. The organization notes that some state laws may vary and that you should contact an attorney if you have been arrested or believe that your rights have been violated.
In Cincinnati, the routine traffic stop between Ray Tensing and Sam DuBose ended in gunfire on July 19. Tensing had stopped DuBose over a missing front license plate.
Authorities said there was a struggle between the two when DuBose refused to produce a driver's license or get out of his car.
Footage from the confrontation was obtained from Tensing's body camera.
"Take your seatbelt off! Stop! Stop!" the officer is heard shouting.
Tensing claimed that he was dragged by DuBose's car, but Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters disputed that and said the officer "purposely killed him."
Tensing's attorney says his client feared for his life and didn't intend to kill DuBose.
The officer appeared in court on Thursday for his arraignment. The courtroom cheered when the judge set his bond at $1 million.
It comes after another, earlier confrontation between Sandra Bland and a trooper who pulled her over for failing to signal in Texas. Bland was taken into custody and was found dead in her cell from a suspected suicide three days later.
Watch Below: Trooper Threatens Sandra Bland in Dash Cam Video
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