Know Your Rights: How to Deal with a Traffic Stop
Being stopped by police in any situation can be a scary and stressful one. Even if you have done nothing wrong and have nothing to hide, being stopped can cause anxiety and you may be confused about how to act. If you are stopped by police during a routine traffic stop, it is important that you know your rights and how to act properly. There are various tips that should be followed that can help ensure the traffic stop goes more smoothly.
Right to Remain Silent
If you are stopped for any type of traffic violation or other situation, it is important to know that you have the right to remain silent. While it is ideal that you respectfully answer the officer’s questions, you are not obligated to provide unnecessary information. However, you should be prepared to provide the officer with your license, registration, and proof of insurance.
You Do Not Have to Consent to a Search
Another thing to remember when you are being pulled over is that you do not have to consent to a search of your vehicle. In most cases, the officer will likely want to check your ID and registration to ensure you are in compliance and there is not a warrant out for your arrest. However, they may also want to search your vehicle. Unless the officer has a warrant that allows them to do so, you do not have to consent. While you should not try to physically stop them from doing so, saying you do not consent will give protection for your rights as the case moves forward.
Ultimately, the most important thing that you should do if you are stopped by police is to try and remain calm. These situations with police can be very stressful and cause a lot of anxiety. This can be made worse if the officer appears aggressive. While you may feel threatened, it would be best to remain calm and be respectful. You should also avoid making quick movement and keep your hands visible. This can help prevent the situation from escalating further.
Understand the Charges
No matter what happens, it is important to know what you are pulled over for and what you are being charged with. The police officer is obligated to have a reason for why they pulled you over and asking why is very appropriate. If you are given a ticket of any kind, you should ensure that you fully understand why this occurred and ask what evidence they have. Knowing this evidence can prove the be helpful if you choose to contest any type of ticket in the future. It could also be helpful to properly document the situation including writing down the officer’s name and ID number.
Know Your Way Out if Arrested
The majority of traffic stops will end without much incident. However, there is always a chance that you could be arrested. If this occurs, you should ensure that you get proper legal representation. If you are not able to afford one on your own, you should take advantage of one that is provided by your state or county. It is often wise to avoid talking to police further until you have spoken with your attorney.
In some cases, you may face criminal charges that could come along with a trial. If this is the case, you can still get out of temporary imprisonment by posting bail. This is a bond that you will post to ensure that you come back for trial. You may find that the cost of bail is too significant. In these cases, taking out a bail bond is a good option as you could leave prison for a fraction of the out-of-pocket cost. If you are looking for a bail bond, it would be wise to contact A Way Out Bail Bonds to learn more about their services and start the process of applying for a bond.