Is it possible for a police officer to order you out of your vehicle?
Whether a police officer can order you out of your vehicle is a question that the Chicago criminal appeals defense attorney at Jaleel Law P.C. is asked nearly every day by a client. The United States Supreme Court has already answered the question for us and unfortunately, the Court has held that a police officer can order the driver and all the passengers in the car to exit the vehicle. Therefore, if you are ordered by a police officer to exit the car, you must comply with the officer’s demand.
Why Can a Police Officer Order You Out of Your Car?
In Pennsylvania v. Mims, the U.S. Supreme Court held that if a police officer makes a valid traffic stop that complies with the Fourth Amendment the further action of asking the driver and the passengers to exit the car is not a serious infraction to the person’s liberty. The Court held that the intrusion of asking a person to exit his or her car was “de minimis.” The Court also noted that the police officer is much safer from not only oncoming traffic but from any potential nefarious act of the driver or the passenger.
The current state of search and seizure law allows a police officer to order a driver and the passengers out of vehicle that is stopped for even a minor traffic violation. However, the law does not require you to answer any questions or to consent to a search of your vehicle. If a police officer orders you out of your car, you must comply and do what the officer orders but remember to not answer any questions and don’t allow the police officer to search your car.
If you have been arrested following a traffic stop, contact the Illinois criminal defense attorney at Jaleel Law P.C. to discuss your options. We have successfully had the evidence against our clients suppressed because the police violated our clients’ 4th Amendment rights. Call us today to discuss what we can do for you.