Fisher Law Office

How should you behave during a traffic stop?

Most drivers find themselves stopped by a police officer at least once in their driving years. In some cases, an officer may pull over a driver because of something wrong with the vehicle itself, such as a broken brake light, or because the driver committed a relatively minor traffic violation, like speeding or not fully stopping at a stop sign.

If you look into your rearview mirror, see those flashing blue lights and know that an officer wants you to pull over, you may mutter under your breath and begin to feel a little nervous. After all, even a traffic stop for a minor violation could lead to serious criminal charges if an officer suspects that you have been drinking and driving.

How should you behave?

The way you behave when an officer approaches your vehicle can have a major influence on the outcomes of the stop and any legal ramifications you may need to address. Because you want to handle the situation as well as possible, you may want to keep the following tips in mind:

  • Do not attempt to elude the officer. If an officer wants to conduct a traffic stop, it is best to simply pull over when it is safe to do so.
  • Mind your manners. Speaking to the officer in a polite and respectful tone could prevent any unnecessary tension.
  • Provide the officer with your name, driver's license, insurance information and other documents he or she requests.
  • Remember that you have the right to remain silent. If an officer asks a question and you feel obliged to answer, keep those answers as short as possible.
  • If an officer requests that you participate in field sobriety tests, keep in mind that California law does not require you to complete those tests, and you can refuse.
  • Remain calm and cooperative.

Though getting pulled over by a police officer is a nerve-wracking experience, remaining calm could help you better remember everything taking place. In the event that the officer suspects you of drinking and driving or other serious violations, remembering the events of the traffic stop could prove useful in your defense.

Defending against DUI charges

In many cases, individuals can defend against DUI charges by targeting the police officer's actions during a traffic stop or by bringing the validity of evidence into question. If you find yourself under arrest for DUI, you may want to contact an experienced defense attorney who could help you throughout your case.

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Fisher Law Office

1322 Morro Street
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401-4028

Phone: 805-706-0205
Fax: 805-542-0464
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