What Should I do During a Traffic Stop?

What Should I do During a Traffic Stop?

Being stopped by the police on the road can be alarming and intimidating. You may feel confused and not be immediately aware of the violation you committed, if any. However, it’s important to comply and pull over safely so you can get through the incident without issue. As a driver, you should know what basic steps to take during a traffic stop. As a respected criminal defense attorney can explain, knowing the tips below can prepare you to handle a traffic stop in a safe manner. 

Stay Calm

Experiencing a traffic stop for the first time can be stressful, whether you are a new or seasoned driver. It is natural to be unsure of what to do, but the first important thing to know is to stay calm. If you panic or act out of frustration or anger, you may potentially escalate the situation. The officer stopping you can feel uneasy and may be inclined to believe your demeanor and actions are suspicious. Keep your tone level and polite as you talk to the officer. For the benefit of you and the officer, it is best to remain as calm and collected as you can throughout the incident. 

Make Your Hands Visible

During a traffic stop, you should put your hands on the wheel and keep them visible to the officer. It allows them to see that you are not handling a weapon or other dangerous item. Even if you intend to show proof of ID or insurance, suddenly reaching for an object can be alarming to an officer. Officers have to remain cautious during any encounter, so only move your hands when an officer tells you to. Otherwise, an officer may request to search your vehicle if they believe there are weapons or evidence inside. If an unlawful search occurs, a skilled criminal defense lawyer like one from the Law Office of Daniel J. Wright can offer you legal assistance. 

Keep Your Answers Short

For every question an officer asks you, make sure your answers are short and concise. Do not mention any unnecessary details that include information beyond what is being asked of you. You don’t want to accidentally incriminate yourself or make the traffic stop longer than it needs to be. Only provide basic information such as your name and vehicle documentation. 

A traffic stop can go smoothly if you abide by the recommended steps. If you believe your rights may have been violated during a traffic stop, it may be beneficial for you to talk to a trusted criminal defense lawyer.