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How to Handle Yourself During a Traffic Stop

 Posted on October 06, 2017 in Traffic Violations

traffic stop, Rolling Meadows traffic violations attorneyMost of us are familiar with the irrational fear that starts to creep up when you are sitting at a traffic light and police car either pulls up beside or behind you. A million things go through your mind at the same time: How long was the cop following me? Was I speeding before? My registration gets renewed next month, right? Where is my insurance card? In most cases, the officer has probably barely noticed you or your vehicle. When the flashing lights go on behind you, however, the situation changes dramatically.

If you are being pulled over for a traffic violation, be sure to:

  • Pull over and stop as soon as it is safe to do so. Put on your turn signal immediately and begin to slow down so the officer knows your intent. It may be a little while before you can safely stop, but the officer will understand and appreciate your caution;
  • Roll down your window and keep your hands on the steering wheel. The officer may approach from either side, and keeping your hands visible is a way to show the officer that you intend to cooperate. When you are asked for your license, registration, and proof of insurance, have them ready and ask for permission to move so that you can get them;
  • Be aware of your tone and your demeanor. It is normal to be nervous and scared during a traffic stop, and police officers are aware of that. If, however, you are rude, hostile, or aggressive, what was going to be a warning could become a ticket—or several tickets, depending on the situation;
  • Do not argue with the officer. It is one thing to respectfully disagree with something the officer says; it is quite another to engage in an argument. Remember that getting a traffic ticket does not mean you are automatically guilty. There is a time and a place for contesting the violation and during the stop is not that time or place;
  • Stay calm, even if the officer is not. Police officers are human too, and they have bad days. While that is no excuse for illegal or improper behavior, if you believe you are being mistreated, you will have the opportunity to present your case in court later. For now, comply with the officer’s requests, or you could end up in handcuffs; and
  • Confirm that you are free to go. Whether you receive a citation or not, you need to be sure the officer has completed his or her business with you before you pull away. It is reasonable to ask if you should wait for him or her drive off first or if you are allowed to go. The officer may allow to you leave first so his or her flashing lights can allow you to pull back into traffic safely.

If the traffic stop resulting in you receiving a ticket, it is crucial that you respond in the allotted amount of time. You have the option of pleading guilty and paying the fine or contesting the ticket in court. Contesting the ticket may be appropriate if you believe the citation was issued improperly or your rights were violated during the stop.

To discuss your situation and to get the guidance you need, contact an Arlington Heights traffic violations attorney. We will review your case, help you decide on the best course of action, and ensure your best interests are fully protected throughout the process. Call 847-253-3100 for a free consultation today.




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