What to Do If You Get Pulled Over
Be it for a basic speeding ticket or a standard moving violation, getting pulled over happens to a lot of drivers at least once. While getting pulled over is routine, certain actions can quickly escalate the situation to dangerous heights. It may be possible that the law enforcement agent could overstep their boundaries. Here are some tips to follow should you get pulled over:
Pull over right away
If you are driving and notice a police car behind you has turned on their lights, it is important to pull over safely as quickly as possible. Doing so shows that you were alert and aware while driving. On the other hand, if you keep driving, this could be misconstrued as stalling or evading police.
Your attitude and demeanor can greatly affect how a routine traffic stop goes. Try to remain calm, polite, and collected. If it’s dark out, turn on dome lights as a courtesy. Do not make sudden movements, and make sure the officer can always see your hands. This can be reassuring to even the most nervous police officer.
A police officer will often ask for your license, registration, and sometimes a proof of insurance. Have these ready for the officer after pulling over.
Remain in your vehicle
It is imperative that you remain in your vehicle during a traffic stop. Getting out of the vehicle could be considered a threat to the officer’s safety and could create a dangerous misunderstanding.
Know your rights
There are times when a routine stop becomes a little more invasive. Remember that if a police officer asks to search your vehicle, you have the right to refuse.
Go about your day
As soon as the stop is over and you’re free to leave, carefully activate your turn signal and safely rejoin traffic.
A routine traffic stop shouldn’t feel dangerous, but as more stories appear in the news it is becoming clear that many citizens do not know their rights and boundaries are often overstepped. If you or a loved one has been pulled over and feel your car was been illegally searched, or if your rights were violated, contact an attorney who could help. Contact criminal defense attorney John W. Tumelty online or by phone at 609.385.4010 today to schedule you case consultation.