ADVICE FROM POLICE
Ask anyone who drives a car whether they or someone they know has been stopped for a traffic violation and the chances are pretty good that they will say they have. Traffic stops are extremely common and you may be subject to a stop yourself one day. Will you know what to do?
Pembroke Pines police officer, Dave Thompson, reveals how officers conduct a traffic stop and how a driver should act when pulled over.
Some tips to remember:
If you are stopped by a police officer for a traffic violation, keep these points in mind to increase your chances of avoiding a citation and to make the traffic stop safe for you and the officer:
- Slow down and safely pull over as soon as possible.
- Remain calm. Keep in mind that you may have committed a minor traffic violation which you are unaware of or the officer may have pulled you over because there is a problem with your vehicle.
- Turn off your vehicle.
- Remain in the driver’s seat with both hands clearly in sight on the steering wheel.
- DO NOT exit your vehicle unless you are instructed to do so by the officer.
- Be courteous, respectful, and non-confrontational. You should comply with the officer’s request to see your driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance. If these documents are in your glove box or some other location, inform the officer of their location and follow the officer’s instructions for retrieving the documents.
- Listen carefully to the officer.
- Remain polite and use your manners to respond properly to the officer’s commands. Do not challenge the officer.
- If you do not wish to answer any questions until you have spoken with an experienced criminal defense attorney, that is your right.
- If you are issued a ticket that requires your signature, sign it. This is not an admission of guilty. You are merely acknowledging that you received the ticket.
- Ask for the officer’s name and badge number.
- Determine if you can leave. If you are unsure, ask the officer.
Do I Need A Lawyer For My Ticket?
Depending on the circumstances of the stop and the kind of traffic violation you are cited with, you may wish to fight your ticket in court. You should speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately to learn more about your rights and to determine what defenses may be available. Remember, you are to be treated with dignity and respect by the police officer. If you believe that you have been treated unfairly, you need to present your case in court.