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How to Handle a Traffic Stop

If you are pulled over for a traffic stop you have nothing to fear, in fact it is the police officer that may be fearful because they never know what situation they are walking into. A police officer may pull you over for any traffic violation, no matter how minor. If you are ever pulled over, do not fight with the police or disrespect the officer, it will worsen your situation and ruin both your day and the officer's. 

When you see the flashing lights put your turn signal on and look for a safe spot to pull over; try your best to get your car completely off the road and not put yourself or the officer in danger by interfering with the normal flow of traffic. If it is dark and you are nervous about pulling over, you have the right to drive until you find a lit parking lot or spot to pull over, if this is the case dial 911 and alert the operator of your intentions. 

When you pull over take your keys out of the ignition and roll your drivers side window down. Do not make any fast movements before the officer reaches your vehicle, the officer may perceive you as a threat and this will make the traffic stop much more of a hassle. Instead, hold your hands in the air as the officer approaches and wait for the officer to ask for your license and registration.

Be polite with the officer at all times. A traffic stop is not the appropriate time to try out a new joke or attempt comedy. Be respectful and courteous and the officer will return the respect. If you have anything illegal in plain sight the officer may arrest you immediately. If the officer asks to search your vehicle simply respond, "Officer, I mean to disrespect but I do not consent to any searches. Am I free to leave?" If the officer attempts to search your car without your permission do not use physical force to stop them. If the officer has probable cause it is a legal search. However, you have the right to take out your smartphone or recording device and record the search. If you believe you have been illegally searched video evidence will help your attorney argue your case.

Police officers are there for your safety and are just trying to do their job, however, if you believe your rights were violated during a traffic stop set up a free consultation with an attorney at Platt Hopwood and we will review your case and your options. Call our office at (321) 725-3425 to schedule your free consultation. 

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