Most drivers have experienced the sense of dread that comes with seeing flashing blue lights in your rearview mirror. In the best-case scenario, a driver pulled over by police will get off with just a warning. In the worst-case scenario, the driver may leave the traffic stop in the back of a police vehicle.
How a driver handles a traffic stop can mean the difference between a temporary detour or moderate fine and criminal charges. It is important for everyone to understand their rights and responsibilities during traffic stops.
On average, 176 police officers are killed in the line of duty every year. Over 14,000 are injured. One of the best things you can do during a traffic stop is to demonstrate to police that you mean them no harm. If you see lights and hear sirens behind you, pull the car to the right side of the road as soon as you can safely. Turn off the car and put your hands on the wheel. Do not reach for your license or registration until told to do so.
Politeness can go a long way during police interactions. Avoid yelling or calling the officer names. If the officer gives you a ticket, do not try to argue your way out of it. You will have the option to contest the ticket later, if you choose to do so. Remember that any statements you make to police can be later used against you, so respond politely but do not offer additional information.
The police may ask to search your vehicle. Sometimes, police officers say things like "You don’t mind if I look around, do you?" Do not fall victim to this verbal trickery. Police need probable cause to search your vehicle. Calmly explain that you do not consent to a search. If police conduct a search without consent or probable cause, anything they find in the car is inadmissible as evidence in later criminal proceedings.
If you are arrested for drunk driving, drug possession, or another criminal offense, remember your rights. You do not have to answer any questions. You have a constitutional right to remain silent and refuse to participate in a police interrogation. State that you are choosing to remain silent and wish to speak to your lawyer.
Arlington Heights criminal defense attorney Scott Anderson represents clients accused of traffic violations, driving under the influence, drug crimes, and other offenses. Call Scott F. Anderson, Attorney at Law at 847-253-3400 for a confidential, free consultation.
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.
Hundreds of Secretary of State hearings for Drivers License Reinstatement - Won.