A law enforcement officer pulling you over is a jarring experience to say the least. Regardless of how old you are or how long you have been driving, the physical act of being pulled over by a police siren and flashing lights is nothing to look forward to. Here’s what you need to know about what you can and cannot do during a traffic stop.
Do Not Dispose Of Anything By Tossing It Out Of The Car Door Or Window
First, it should go without saying; when you have been pulled over and have reached the stop point, do not open your car door. The latter is for your own safety. You may feel the need to open the car door and step out to speed the process up, or simply attempt to do it out of habit. Refrain from opening the car door, the same goes for opening the car door to toss a wrapper or the like, it can wait.
Likewise, there is no need to pull down your window to throw anything away, be it a gum wrapper or a toothpick. Any sudden movement on your behalf and you will draw unnecessary suspicion to yourself regardless of whether it is warranted or not. Once you have pulled into the shoulder or a safe space, the only thing you need to be doing is waiting patiently for the officer to initiate communication.
Stay Calm And Leave Your Hands On The Wheel
Law enforcement will approach your vehicle at their leisure, those few seconds or even minutes may seem like a lifetime. However long the officer takes to get to your vehicle, you need to have your hands visibly on the wheel so as to show cooperation as well as for your own safety. Once the officer instructs you to roll your window down (if you have not already done so) he or she will provide further instructions. License and Registration will likely be requested, at that point you can as to retrieve your documents. It is important to let the officer know that you are reaching in your back pocket, purse, glove compartment, etc. The officer needs to feel safe as you move within your vehicle.
Less Is More
Law enforcement may try to fish information out of you. It is not your job to prove to the officer that whatever his or her suspicion is of you is correct. Whether he or she suspects that you are driving under the influence or are impaired in anyway, that is the officer’s job to prove. They may ask you various questions in order that you may disclose something that can later be used against you. You can tell the officer that you do not wish to comment and this answer of course is to be utilized with common sense. You do need to be cordial and cooperative but not to your own detriment.
Do Not Resist
You will often have hear or seen a movie where the person that is pulled over tells the officer that they do not wish to have their vehicle searched. In some respects, this is true, you can decline a vehicle search but law enforcement may claim to have probable cause. In this case, an officer may actually go ahead and search your vehicle. Make sure that you let the officer know that you do not consent to the search but do not resist the search. The same is true if law enforcement decides to arrest you. You must remain calm and cordial and not resist for your own safety and for the future of your criminal case as well.
Cobb Criminal Defense has experience handling traffic related offenses including, DWI, DUI and the like. Should you be facing criminal charges, it’s important to speak to a qualified criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. For immediate assistance, contact our office today.