The police can pull you over if they have reasonable suspicion that you are or have recently committed a crime. In this context, a “crime” includes traffic violations, such as speeding, a broken tail light, expired tags, or rolling a stop sign. While getting pulled over may be annoying and something that you want to get over with as soon as possible, it is important to remember to be polite and reasonable when dealing with the police. Remember, police are people too, and making a law enforcement officer’s life more difficult during a routine traffic stop often results in your life being made more difficult as well.
Being polite is more likely to get you the outcome that you want – which is being allowed to go about your business as soon as possible with nothing more than a verbal warning. Remember, the police have significant discretion when it comes to enforcing the law, and being nice could just get out of an expensive ticket.
It is important to remember that acting rudely or unpredictably could actually result in serious legal trouble and may even threaten your physical safety. If you allow your anger at getting pulled over to get the best of you, it may result in the police officer who stopped you to suspect that you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, which could in turn result in your arrest and a criminal case being brought against you. Furthermore, if your anger causes the police officer who stopped you to fear for your safety, you may find yourself on the wrong end of the use of force.
How to Handle a Traffic Stop
If you are pulled over by the police, here are some of the things you should do to make the process go as smoothly as possible:
- Pull over as soon as it is safe to do so
- Place your hands on the wheel and keep them in plain sight while the officer is approaching your car
- Answer the officer’s questions politely and succinctly
- If at any point you feel that the stop is taking a turn for the worse, tell the officer you would like to speak to your attorney
Call 732-662-7658 today for a free consultation.
Traffic stops have the potential to escalate into serious legal issues if the police suspect that you are guilty of a more serious criminal offense. If you have been stopped by the police and issued a citation or arrested, you should speak to an attorney as soon as possible. To schedule a free consultation with a lawyer, call New Jersey criminal defense attorney Leon Matchin today 732-662-7658 or send us an email through our online contact form.