Everybody hates getting pulled over. Let’s talk about some things that can make it easier for you if and when it happens.
1. Carefully choose where you stop. It may not matter to you but it sure matters to the officer. A lot of officers die every year during traffic stops so don’t just pull over anywhere. Be careful and thoughtful. Find somewhere that’s wide and not narrow. Turn on your signal or your hazards and let the officer know you intend to comply.
2. Remain calm. When getting pulled over, you’re anxious and the officer is anxious, especially if he or she doesn’t know what they’re walking up to. If it’s dark inside or it’s nighttime, show some courtesy and turn on your lights. Keep your hands where the officer can see them. Keep them on the wheel and don’t reach for anything. There’s nothing you need to reach for that bad.
3. In this country, we’re all innocent until we’re proven guilty, even for a traffic offense. If you want to remain silent to avoid self-incrimination, do it. It’s your fifth amendment right. You don’t even have to consent to a search. And, if you want to speak to an attorney, just say so. That’s your right, too.
4. Keep things simple. Follow the officer’s directions. If he or she wants your license or registration, hand them over. There’s no reason to extend a traffic stop. It never goes better; it only goes worse. And remember, if you’re in a public place, you’re probably being recorded.
5. If there’s any fighting to be had, leave it for the lawyers. The worst-case scenario is you’re pulled over, ordered out of the car, they find something they think is evidence of a crime, and you get arrested. If it happens, remain silent. Let your lawyer investigate the case and protect your rights. The best-case scenario is that you leave with a warning and that’s a big win.
That’s your shot of legal wellness for today. If you’d like to learn more, please subscribe. Until next time, I’m Danny Karon, your Lovable Lawyer.
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