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What Are Your Legal Rights and Obligations During a Traffic Stop in New Jersey?

August 17, 2021 | Posted In Criminal Law, Municipal Court |

When the police pull you over in New Jersey, you have both legal rights and legal obligations. Here is an overview of some of your key rights and obligations from the New Jersey traffic court lawyers at Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A.

Your Legal Rights During a Traffic Stop in New Jersey

During a traffic stop in New Jersey, your legal rights include:

  • Freedom from Discrimination – The police cannot pull you over, question you, request that you exit your car or arrest you on any discriminatory basis (race, color, nationality, age, sex, gender or sexual orientation). Even if police are mistaken or violate your rights, you have no right to refuse to submit to or resist arrest. This is so even if the police are mistaken about who you are or that there is a warrant for your arrest. You have legal rights and actions for those violations of your rights.
  • Freedom from Harassment – You have the right to be free from harassment during a traffic stop in New Jersey. While the police can search your vehicle and order you to exit your vehicle under appropriate circumstances, they cannot do so to harass you.
  • Refusal to Answer – You have the right to refuse to answer any questions pertaining to what you were doing or where you were going before you got stopped. During a traffic stop, you only need to provide your basic identifying information (i.e., name and address).
  • Refusal to Consent to a Search – You are not required to consent to a search of your vehicle during a traffic stop in New Jersey. If you refuse to consent to a search, the police can only conduct a search if they have “reasonable articulable suspicion” of illegal activity.
  • Legal Representation Upon Arrest – If you get arrested during your traffic stop, you have the immediate right to legal representation. This is true whether or not the arresting officer reads your rights.

Your Legal Obligations During a Traffic Stop in New Jersey

During a traffic stop in New Jersey, your legal obligations include:

  • License, Insurance and Registration – You must provide your license, proof of insurance and vehicle registration upon request. You should always have your license with you, and you should always keep your insurance card and registration in your vehicle.
  • Identification – If asked, you must identify yourself to the police officer who pulled you over.
  • Exit the Vehicle Upon Request – You must exit your vehicle if requested to do so. This applies whether you are the driver or a passenger.
  • Pat Down Upon Request – You must allow the officer to pat you down, but only if the officer has reason to believe that you are armed and dangerous.
  • Breath Test Upon Request – If the officer who pulled you over suspects that you may have been drinking, he or she may request that you take a breath test. You are legally required to comply with this request under New Jersey’s implied consent law.
  • Submit to even an illegal arrest upon request.

Speak with a New Jersey Traffic Court Lawyer in Confidence

Did you receive a ticket in New Jersey? If so, you should discuss your case with an experienced New Jersey traffic court lawyer. You may have defenses available based on what happened during your traffic stop. To schedule an appointment at Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A., call 877-435-6371 or contact us online now.


Over 20 attorneys at HCK have extensive experience in defending traffic cases as they were former assistant prosecutors and/or police officers for a combined total of over 600 years of law enforcement experience. You can find out more about them on our site, and you can call Managing Partner Ron Helmer on his cell phone at 609 685-0665.

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