Traffic stops occur on a daily basis for officers. For some drivers, they may feel as if they have no reason to have those red and blue lights flashing in their rear-view mirror. Even if this is the case, it is important that you do a few things when you've been pulled over a police officer, including:
1. Always Remain Calm.
Sure, you may be aggravated because you don't know why you are being pulled over. It isn't uncommon to panic when those lights start flashing in the background. However, try not to panic. Simply take a deep breath once you hear those sirens and see the lights, turn on your blinker, and pull over to the side of the road when you see that it is safe. Although you should make sure you pull over in a safe area, you don't want to make the officer assume you are running from him or her.
2. Ensure Your Visibility to the Officer.
Traffic stops can often become very dangerous for police officers, so they tend to be a little jumpy (sometimes too much) when they pull someone over and they can't see them. Therefore, roll down your windows as soon as you've pulled over to the side of the road. If necessary, consider switching on your overhead light. Never remove your seatbelt, and keep your hands on your steering wheel. This keeps your hands in sight of the officer so he or she knows that you aren't attempting to pull a gun on him or her.
3. Avoid Jumping to Grab Your License, Registration and Insurance.
Officers always ask for the same items when you are pulled over, so you may want to go ahead and get them before the officer arrives at your vehicle. However, you should wait to do this to avoid making it look like you're attempting to grab something you shouldn't be (gun, knife, etc.). Instead, once the officer arrives at your vehicle and requests the information, inform them that you will be reaching into your back pocket, center console or glove compartment to obtain the requested documents.
4. Avoid Saying Anything That Could Incriminate You.
When you are pulled over, you are often asked if you know why. Even if you think that you know, simply say that you aren't sure. This keeps you from admitting any type of fault early on. Answer questions as politely and briefly as you can, but remember that you do have the right to remain silent. Sometimes, it may be better to say nothing at all than to say something that could land you in jail.
5. Never Resist Arrest.
If the traffic stop didn't go your way and you are apprehended by the police, make sure that you do not resist. It will be frustrating, but you need to go with the flow. This is not the time to affirm your innocence. Wait until you appear in court to clear your name with your arguments of innocence. Otherwise, you may end up with another charge for resisting arrest.
If you've been arrested during a traffic stop or any other time, it may be in your best interest to consult with an experienced and professional criminal defense lawyer.Share