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When a Traffic Stop Goes Wrong, The Results Can be Devastating
A simple traffic stop can turn a good day into a bad day -- but it doesn't have to go down like that. Cooperating and being prepared goes a long way toward ensuring that you and the officer walk away and get back to your normal daily activities. Follow these tips to keep the situation from turning ugly.
What do I need to show the police officer when I am pulled over?
It is very important that you be prepared. Make sure your proof of insurance and registration are in the car where you can quickly get to them. Always have your driver’s license with you. If you are a lawful permanent resident or resident alien, keep your alien registration card with you at all times.
What do I do when I see the flashing lights of a police cruiser?
Don’t keep driving. Acknowledge the officer by turning on your flashers.
If you continue to drive and pass safe places to pull over, the officer may become suspicious that you are trying to hide something. Turning on your flashers lets the officer know that you see him and are planning on pulling over.
Where do I pull over?
Pull over to a safe area.
A well-lit side street or parking lot are the best places to stop. Otherwise look for a wide shoulder on the road.
Stay in the car
If you get out of the car as soon as you stop, the officer may think you are being aggressive.
Turn off the engine, roll down the window, and if it is dark, turn on the dome light.
This allows the officer to see what is happening in the vehicle.
If you are pulled over for a suspected traffic violation it is important to remain calm. You should take a deep breath and present a relaxed appearance. Avoid appearing nervous and twitchy. - It's common to feel nervous when being pulled over, so
just take a few deep breaths and relax. If you have not done anything criminal, it most likely is just a routine traffic stop.
Stay still and keep your hands on the steering wheel
Place your hands on the steering wheel in 10 and 2 position. This shows the officer you are willing to cooperate and not a threat.
Comply and don't argue
If you feel that policies or procedures are handled wrong, save it for the judge and don’t complain to the officer or argue. If you disagree that you should be receiving a ticket, go to court and present your case to the judge.
You don't have to consent to a search
If the officer does not have probable cause to search the car, he may ask for your consent to search the vehicle, but it is in your best interest to decline the search.
If you are carrying a gun, let the officer know
No matter what the police officer says to you as an opening remark, respond with:
“Before we start I want to let you know that I have a concealed carry permit and I have a gun. What are your instructions? Officers are allowed to ask to hold the weapon until the traffic stop is over.
Be polite and cooperate
No one likes getting pulled over, but showing respect for officer and communicating in a positive manner is important will not hurt.
If you have a concealed weapons permit and the gun is on you
No matter what the police officer says to you as an opening remark, you respond with:
Officer, before we star I want to let you know that I have a concealed carry permit. What are your instructions? Wait for the officer to give you instructions and when you comply, do so slowly and in plain sight.
Never resist arrest
No matter what, do not resist arrest. You may have a warrant or you may be guilty of something, but don't resist or run. You could lose your life.
What should I do if I arrested?
You have a constitutional right to remain silent. Do not answer any questions. Ask to see a lawyer immediately. Repeat this request to every officer who tries to talk to or question you. Never run and never resist. Keep your mouth shut and keep it shut until you can talk to a criminal defense attorney.
What should you do if you believe your rights were violated?
Write down everything you remember, including officers’ names, patrol car numbers, plate numbers, time, location and agency the officers were from. Are there any witnesses? Get their contact info and ask if they have a video of the incident. If you are injured get medical attention immediately. Take photographs of your injuries. File a written complaint with the agency’s internal affairs division or civilian complaint board. The complaint may be made anonymously.
Were you arrested during a traffic stop? Call Criminal Defense Attorney Carl Jordan.
Carl Jordan is a Michigan criminal defense attorney who was a former prosecutor in Wisconsin and Michigan. His comprehensive knowledge allows him to efficiently go through all evidence in order to aggressively defend you against charges that began when you were arrested during a traffic stop. Call Carl Jordan at 248 358-6647 for a free consultation.