Getting pulled over by a police officer while you are driving can be a stressful ordeal. However, even if you believe the police officer made a mistake by making a traffic stop, it is important to remain calm and not lose your temper. If you do not keep your composure, the situation could end up escalating and instead of a potential traffic violation, you could be facing criminal charges.
Things to Avoid Saying to an Officer During a Traffic Stop
During the traffic stop, the officer will ask you for your license and registration in order to confirm your identity and conduct a background check to make sure there are no outstanding warrants or other issues. Some stops may resolve quickly, while in other situations, it may feel as if the officer is extending the stop unreasonably. No matter what the situation is, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Rude comments - Once the officer has conducted the background check, he or she may also ask you questions, such as where you are driving to or from. You are under no obligation to answer those questions, however, how you choose to answer can make a difference. Although it is not against the law to make a rude comment to a police officer, doing so could cause the officer to become more inclined to find some reason to place you under arrest. Police cannot arrest you simply for making an insulting comment, but they can claim your behavior was uncooperative or created probable cause to search your vehicle.
- Confessions - Under no circumstances should you confess to a crime when a police officer pulls you over. For example, if a cop stops your vehicle because he or she is suspicious that you were driving under the influence of alcohol, you should not admit to anything. Even if you are guilty of the crime the officer is accusing you of, you should not give any kind of statement to the police until you have spoken with a criminal defense attorney.
- Breathalyzer tests - If a police officer pulls you over because he or she believes you were driving drunk, you will be asked to take a breathalyzer test to measure your blood alcohol concentration (BAC). There are a few factors to keep in mind before deciding to submit to that test. Illinois has an implied consent law. When you were issued a driver’s license, your acceptance meant you were consenting to submit to a breathalyzer test if requested to do so by law enforcement. While there is no law that says you must take the test, refusing to do so means an automatic summary suspension of your license, even if you are ultimately found not guilty of DUI in criminal court. A first offense is a loss of license for one year. Second and subsequent refusals are for five years. There is no right or wrong answer on whether a driver should submit to a breathalyzer test and ultimately depends on the circumstances of the traffic stop, whether the driver has been drinking, and whether the driver has any prior DUI convictions.
Contact an Arlington Heights, IL Criminal Lawyer
If you were recently pulled over and arrested by a police officer, you should speak to a Rolling Meadows, IL criminal attorney. Scott F. Anderson, Attorney at Law will assess your case and inform you of your legal options. Call 847-253-3400 today to schedule a free consultation....