The first time my son got into some legal trouble, I didn't hire an attorney. I figured that he would just get a slap on the wrist and that he should accept his punishment, and that's what happened. The second time he got into trouble, I had to hire an attorney. I knew that since he had a record, the judge would not be so lenient about his punishment and he could suffer some serious consequences that could haunt him for his entire life. If you have a troubled child, my blog could help you understand the value of hiring an attorney for him or her.
Recent events have demonstrated that misunderstandings about traffic stops are leading to serious confrontations. Most law enforcement officers are caring professionals who will treat you with respect and courtesy. You should respond in kind, even if you feel you have been stopped in error. If you are pulled over by a police officer for any reason, you need to keep your cool and follow a few guidelines.
Pull Over Quickly
When you see a police car with lights flashing behind you, pull over as fast as you safely can. Some confusion exists about this issue because drivers have been advised to pull over in well-lit areas to avoid being robbed or assaulted by police impersonators. However, waiting to pull over has led to some drivers being arrested for fleeing the authorities. If you are unsure about the validity of the officer, some police departments recommend calling 911 to confirm that you are legitimately being stopped.
Do not become flustered and forget to follow basic driving rules, a real danger since your body reacts to fear in 1/10th of a second. Make certain to signal your intentions and do not stomp on the brakes, otherwise the officer may rear-end your vehicle or have to stop abruptly. Do pull as far to the right as you can so that the officer does not have to worry about being struck by passing vehicles. Turn off your car, roll down the window, and keep your hands on the steering wheel where the officer can see them.
No matter how angry or scared you may feel, do not be rude or confront the officer. Politely ask why you have been pulled over. Do not apologize for any driving infraction since doing so can be considered an admission of guilt if your case goes to court. Keep your hands on the wheel until the officer indicates that you can remove them.
According to the ACLU, when you are pulled over, you need to provide your license, registration, and proof of insurance when you are asked to do so. If an officer asks to search your car, you do not have to consent. If the officer feels that evidence of a crime can be found in your vehicle, he is legally entitled to search it without your permission.
Even if you are stopped for a traffic infraction, you still have the right to remain silent as do your passengers. If you are not the driver, you can inquire if you are free to leave. If the officer says you are not, you should sit silently until you are allowed to leave.
Contact An Attorney
If you are arrested, do not resist, no matter what. Also, invoke your right to an attorney. Do not answer questions on your own. Many people end up in trouble because they carelessly answer questions without legal representation.
During a traffic stop, do everything you can to avoid escalating the situation. Be polite but exercise your rights. If everyone remains calm, the situation can be peacefully resolved. Visit a website like http://www.darksidelawyers.com for more help.