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Tips for talking to the police during a traffic stop

On Behalf of | Dec 9, 2023 | Criminal Defense

If you get pulled over by the police, you are going to have to talk to an officer for at least a short time. The officer will probably approach your driver’s side window and ask for your license and registration. You should hand over these documents, as you do need to identify yourself, show that it is your vehicle and show that it is properly insured to be legally driven.

But this may be only the first step. Perhaps the officer has more questions to ask, expresses concern that you may be impaired or something else of this nature. If the situation escalates, here are some tips to keep in mind.

Stay calm and visible

To start with, you always want to remain calm and be polite to the police officers, even if you think you’ve been pulled over for no reason. You also want to focus on visibility so that the police can clearly see your hands. Don’t get out of the vehicle unless the officer tells you to do so. Staying safe needs to be your first priority.

Think about every word

If you do talk to the police, be very careful about what you say. In some situations, it may be best not to say anything at all and to just use your right to remain silent. After all, police officers may ask leading questions to get you to incriminate yourself, such as asking if you know how fast you were going or if you have had anything to drink today. You do not have any obligation to answer these questions.

Don’t resist arrest

You may find yourself in a situation where the officer is going to arrest you and you believe that it is unfair, unjust or even illegal. Maybe the officer claims that you failed a field sobriety test and that you’re impaired, so they’re arresting you on drunk driving allegations. You know that you’re completely sober. This can be a frustrating situation, but the place to fight an arrest is not on the side of the road during a traffic stop. Resisting arrest will only make your situation worse. Instead, try to remain calm, stay silent and allow the process to play out.

If you are arrested, tell officers that you are invoking your right to remain silent and seek legal guidance immediately to safeguard your rights and interests moving forward.