Being pulled over by the police is something that almost all of us will experience at some point in our lifetimes. Whether the stop is for something trivial, such as a broken tail light, or a violation that is more serious, such as aggravated speeding or DUI, it can be stressful no matter what. Much of the anxiety and uncertainty that comes from a traffic stop often stems from the lack of interaction and knowledge of what to do when interacting with police. Traffic stops can end up ultimately resulting in serious criminal charges for various things, including inappropriate interactions with officers. It is important for you to know how to responsibly handle a traffic stop if you are pulled over in Illinois.
For the most part, all traffic stops follow pretty much the same pattern, beginning with the officer pulling you over. Being a police officer is a dangerous job, but the risk comes with the territory. Officers are injured or killed each day, even in routine tasks such as traffic stops. In order to make your traffic stop goes smoothly with as little conflict as possible, you should try to remember these important points:
When the officer approaches your window, be sure to have the window rolled down and your hands on the steering wheel and in the officer’s direct line of sight.
Be polite, courteous, and comply with questions about your basic information.
Do not make any sudden movements or any actions that could be perceived as threatening.
Never get out of your vehicle unless you are instructed to do so by the officer.
There are also certain rights that you should be concerned with protecting during your interactions with police. First, the most valuable right you have is the right to remain silent. Often, officers may ask questions such as, “Have you been drinking tonight?” or, “Where have you been this evening?” but you do not have to answer these questions if you do not have an attorney present.
You also have the right against unreasonable and warrantless searches and seizures, as given by the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. If you are pulled over for a traffic stop and the officer's request to search your vehicle, you do not have to let them. You can simply tell them, “No, I do not consent to a search of my vehicle.” They may search your vehicle anyways, but anything they find during that search would likely be suppressed as evidence.
Many different types of criminal charges can result from being pulled over by police, with drug possession and DUIs being two of the most common types of offenses. Regardless of the reason you are pulled over or the type of crime with which you are charged, you should speak with a knowledgeable Rolling Meadows, IL criminal defense lawyer before you take care of your ticket. Scott F. Anderson, Attorney at Law will examine your case and help you determine your best course of action for your circumstances. To schedule a free consultation, call our office today at 847-253-3400.
Client accused of burglary was acquitted due to our skillful cross examination of eye witness identification.
Client accused of causing the death of another while driving under the influence - Acquitted.
Client accused of first degree murder - Acquitted.
Client accused of embezzlement - Charges never filed.
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