Courtesy of Winter Street Law Group
When a police or highway patrol officer pulls you over, what you do during the encounter can have an affect on the legal proceedings thereafter. To help you be prepared if you’re to be pulled over, we’ve provided several tips on how to respond to law enforcement.
• Safely pull over. First thing you should do when you see the flashing lights in your rear view mirror is to safely pull over to the right side of the road, coming to a complete stop. Pulling over quickly shows you’re alert and aware of your surroundings. Note that you should pull over in a safe area, that’s not likely to be dangerous or frustrating for a police officer to follow you and get out of his or her vehicle.
• Turn your engine off. After you stop, turn off your engine, turn your music down, and roll your window to speak with the officer.
• Don’t retrieve your driver’s license and registration until the officer asks. That’s right, because it could look like you’re searching for a weapon. Note, you should store your license and registration in an easy-to-access spot so you’re not frantically fishing for them later when the officer requests them.
• Be cool, calm, and collected when talking. Even if you feel offended or that the office is in the wrong, you definitely don’t want to be hostile. In general, let the officer do the talking, and answer questions truthfully and calmly when asked.
Under the court case Miranda v. Arizona, you have the right to remain silent.
• If needed, talk to a lawyer. Most simple traffic violations do not require a lawyer’s assistance; however, if you’re accused of a crime more serious such as carrying drugs, or driving under the influence, it is best to talk to a professional about your options.
Winter Street Law Group offers free consultations on criminal matters. Call 775-786-5800.