What to Do If You Are Pulled Over
It’s a moment we all dread: seeing flashing lights from a police car behind us when driving. How you respond when in this situation has a great impact on any legal ramifications that follow. Below are some tips to keep in mind so you can interact with police officers during a traffic stop without forfeiting your constitutional rights.
If you see a police car behind you sounding its siren or flashing emergency lights, slow down and pull over to the right side of the road as soon as you are at a safe place to do so. Remember to use your turn signal as you are shifting lanes to the right.
Turn off your vehicle after you have stopped at an appropriate place and roll your window halfway down. Keeping the window in this position lets you to speak to the policer officer without allowing them to lean into your vehicle and conduct a visual search. If the officer asks you to roll down the window fully after he or she is standing next to your vehicle, you should comply politely.
If you are pulled over during the nighttime, turn on your interior light. Lastly, place your hands on your steering wheel.
Do not begin rummaging for your license, wallet, or registration until the officer requests to see them.
If the police officer asks you why you think you were pulled over, remember that you have a 5th amendment right to avoid incriminating yourself. Never admit to guilt by suggesting you were speeding or breaking any other kinds of laws. Simply state that you do not know why you were pulled over.
Always remain in your car until and unless you are directly told to exit the vehicle by the police officer.
For safety reasons, an officer has the right to conduct a pat-down on you once you are outside your vehicle. However, you should never give consent to a police officer to conduct a search of your vehicle.
Beyond answering basic identifying questions, such as your name and address, you have the right to remain silent. If asked more probing questions by a police officer, you can say, “I choose not to answer that question.”
Until you are placed under arrest, you have the right to ask if you are free to go. If you are told yes, you should remain calm and leave the scene.
If you are placed under arrest, you have the right to request an attorney and should do so immediately.
Contact MurrayPhillips Law if you have been placed under arrest during a traffic stop in Delaware. We have been providing defense for DUI and Driving and Traffic offenses for over 25 years.