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What to Do During a California Traffic Stop

Posted on in Criminal Defense

San Jose Traffic Ticket Defense LawyerThe U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics estimates that 42% of police contact occurs at traffic stops, and of that, about half result in a citation. While a traffic stop can be anxiety-inducing, it is essential to keep calm and use common sense. Your behavior during a traffic stop might be your make-or-break moment when a police officer is determining whether or not to issue you a ticket. Here are some useful tips on what to do and what not to do when you are pulled over:

Acknowledge Their Attempt.

Signal to the officer that you see they are trying to pull you over. Turn on your right blinker to indicate that you will be pulling off onto the shoulder, or if there is no shoulder available, turn your hazard lights on to show that you are trying to find a safe stopping location. If you do not indicate your acknowledgment and intent to comply, the officer might believe that you have reason to flee, or are attempting to do so.

Be cautious at night.

If the stop occurs after daylight hours, try to find a well-lit area to stop, such as a restaurant, gas station, or parking lot. If there are no businesses nearby, pull over to the right shoulder, as far away from the road as possible to keep yourself and the officer out of danger.

Be attentive.

You should always roll your window entirely down, end your cell phone conversation, and turn your radio off. Giving the officer your full attention shows that you are being cooperative and allows the officer to conduct his or her traffic stop efficiently.

Do Not Act Threatening.

Remain in your vehicle unless the officer specifically instructs you to exit. Unexpectedly getting out of your car can be misconstrued as a threatening move, and the officer may not react kindly. As the officer approaches, your hands should be visible on the steering wheel. Any passengers should remain calmly seated with their hands placed on their laps. Verbalize your intentions before making any sudden movements if you need to reach for any requested documentation.

Comply with the officer’s requests.

Listen carefully to the officer and politely answer questions, without incriminating yourself. Displaying a pleasant demeanor may prevent you from getting an unwanted ticket. Non-compliance only complicates matters.

Contact a San Jose Traffic Ticket Defense Lawyer

Being pulled over can be scary, and receiving a traffic ticket with hefty fines and serious consequences is even more frightening. Practicing good manners at a traffic stop is vital, but it can only get you so far. If you have received a traffic citation, contact a Santa Clara County traffic ticket defense attorney. At Jachimowicz Law Group, you know that your case will be in good hands. Call our office at 408-246-5500 to schedule a free consultation.

Sources:

https://www.dmv.ca.gov/web/eng_pdf/dl600.pdf

https://www.dmv.org/articles/traffic-stop-dos-and-donts/

 

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