Getting pulled over for an alleged traffic violation is not all that uncommon in Texas, especially if you are a relatively young driver. Usually, the officer says (s)he caught you speeding, failing to stop at a stop light or sign, making an illegal turn or committing some other reasonably minor infraction. Things can quickly escalate, however, if that traffic stop turns into a search for drugs or other illegal substances. But does (s)he have the legal right to search?
No, (s)he does not. When conducting a traffic stop, a law enforcement officer may do only the following things:
- Ask you for your driver’s license, insurance and registration, all of which the law requires you to produce
- Investigate the traffic infraction for which (s)he stopped you
- Check for outstanding warrants against you and arrest you if any such warrants exist
- Write the traffic ticket(s)