If you know ahead of time what to do at a police stop, this can help you immensely in overcoming any subsequent traffic violation citations or even DUI charges. If someone does not know how to handle being pulled over, they could be faced with an undeserved arrest. Read on for some guidelines on how to deal with being pulled over by the police.
First off, you will have to bear in mind that a police officer may approach you cautiously, even suspiciously. This is because officers do get killed over basic traffic stops. What this means is that when you are pulled over, you should park and turn off your car, and then lower your window. If this is at night, turn on the light over your head. Then you need to place your hands on the steering wheel. If the officer cannot see your hands, or sees you shuffling things around in your glove box to get your registration, then the officer will approach you warily, thinking that you might be reaching for a weapon. Instead, do not go for your driver's license or your vehicle registration until an officer tells you to. And then when you are asked to get this identification, let the officer know if you will have to reach into the glove compartment, your purse, your pocket, etc.
Also remember that an officer does not have to tell you right away about why you were stopped. In fact, you should let the officer start the conversation, and you can keep your answers short and sweet. The officer is probably going to try to get you to admit that you violated a traffic law, and if you apologize for anything like speeding in order to get off with a warning, this can backfire on you. So if an officer asks if you know why you were pulled over, say no.
As a rule, you should comply with an officer's requests politely, even if this includes being asked to step out of the car. Of course, you only have to comply with their legal requests. Also, if the officer asks for your permission to search the car, do not say yes. You do not need the delay, and if an officer is asking, this means that they do not have probable cause to start a search of your vehicle. If they did, then they could conduct a search whether you liked it or not.
What if you were pulled over, and you know you had a drink before you set out? You certainly do not need to volunteer this information. If an officer suspects that you might have been driving under the influence, then you may be asked to perform field sobriety tests. You have the right to refuse these if you so choose. All it can take is a simple lack of coordination or a medical to fail those sobriety tests. If you refuse breath or blood tests later on, however, this will bring on serious consequences, such as driver's license suspension.
If you have already gone through a traffic stop that landed you with a citation or a criminal charge, fight this with Hopper Law Office. Our Raleigh criminal lawyers may be able to provide the aggressive legal defense that you deserve. And if you responded rightly to the police stop, this can help your defense. On the flipside, if the police officer did not handle the stop correctly, such as through violating your search and seizure rights, this could mean getting your charges dismissed. To learn about the defenses available to you, do not hesitate to contact our firm today!