There’s no worse feeling than seeing red and blue lights flashing behind you as you’re driving. Getting pulled over is an anxiety-inducing experience for many, as any encounter with the police can leave you sweating. However, knowing how to navigate the interaction is essential to keeping yourself safe. If you’re in trouble with the law after a traffic stop, don’t hesitate to reach out to a Camden County criminal defense attorney for further guidance.
How Do I Safely Stop When Getting Pulled Over?
If you notice that a police officer is pulling you over, there are steps you’ll need to take to ensure you do so safely. If you’re on the highway, you’ll need to safely move over to the shoulder on the right side of the road, but if you’re on a street, pull over as far to the right as possible. Be sure to use your turn signal to indicate your movements.
Once you have stopped, you should put your hazard lights on to ensure other motorists can see your vehicle. Before the officer gets to your car, you should turn off your music, turn off your headlights, turn on the interior lights (if it’s dark out), and turn off your engine.
You should not remove your seatbelt or reach for anything around the vehicle. Keep your hands on the steering wheel until the police officer states otherwise. Be sure to keep your movements slow. Under no circumstances should you exit the vehicle unless the officer tells you to.
What Should I Avoid Saying When Talking With the Officer?
When getting pulled over, try to avoid asking why you were pulled over. This can set an aggressive tone to start the interaction.
You should also avoid accidentally incriminating yourself. People unintentionally implicate themselves during traffic stops by answering questions the wrong way. What may seem like an honest admission, you may accidentally divulge too much. For example, if an officer asks, “Have you been drinking?” and you admit that you’ve had a couple, it can be trouble. This is all the police need to arrest you with a DUI.
Instead, you should invoke your right to remain silent, as silence is not an admission of guilt. Honesty can land you in handcuffs, and lying about what you drank may make you less credible.
What Else Should I Know About Being Pulled Over?
When you’re pulled over, it’s essential to know that you have rights. For example, the police are not allowed to search your car unless they have reasonable suspicion that there is evidence of a crime.
You should also know if you refuse a breathalyzer in New Jersey, you can face fines. For the first offense, you can expect a license suspension for over six months and a fine of up to $500.
If arrested following a traffic stop, you’ll need to do your best to remain calm. Do not try to resist or evade arrest. Call DeMarco & Associates to ensure you have a competent attorney representing you. We will fight to keep your record clean.