Traffic stops can quickly change from a warning or ticket to an arrest. Those who are pulled over need to be careful with how they act and what they say to avoid the situation getting a lot worse. Saying or doing the wrong thing could mean they are arrested and will potentially have a criminal record, even if they’ve never been in trouble with the law before. Below are a few things drivers can remember any time they’re pulled over.
Talk as Little as Possible
Some people, when they get nervous, tend to talk a lot. They might admit to speeding in the hopes that the officer will give them a break or they might just talk without realizing what they’re saying and inadvertently give the officer a reason to want to search the vehicle. Instead, when a driver is stopped by the police, they should say as little as possible. It is necessary to give the officer their name and other identifying information, but after that, they should avoid saying anything in case it’s incriminating.
Avoid Reaching for Anything
Officers get nervous when someone in the vehicle reaches quickly to grab something. In all too many cases, the person reaching for something is going to grab a weapon. Instead, it’s best to avoid reaching. If the officer asks for a license, insurance, and the title to the vehicle, let them know where it’s located and make sure it’s okay to grab it. This way, the officer is more relaxed because they know what the driver is reaching for and the driver isn’t making any sudden moves.
Follow the Officer’s Instructions
Depending on the reason for the stop and the overall situation, the officer may have the driver step out of the vehicle. It’s vital the driver follows all of the officer’s instructions at this point. The officer may just want to secure the scene while they look into something further. Refusing to comply could lead to an arrest, even if the driver hasn’t done anything else wrong.
Be Polite When Responding to the Officer
It is crucial for drivers to be polite. The officer does have the ability to arrest the driver and, even if the charges won’t stick, the driver could end up spending the night in jail. Instead, it’s better for the driver to be as polite as possible to the officer, even if they don’t understand what’s going on or feel they’re being treated unfairly. On the side of the road is not the time to argue about whether something is legally valid. The time for that is in court, with a lawyer who fully understands criminal law and who has looked over the case carefully.
Being pulled over can be scary and a lot of people are nervous about what may happen. It’s all too easy to do the wrong thing and make the whole situation worse. Using the tips here may help drivers arrest or help them avoid a conviction if they are arrested. Read this attorneys blog to learn more about arrests, criminal charges, and other legal matters.