The things you say and do after a traffic stop can have a big impact on your immediate future and the legal proceedings that follow the stop.
So what should you do if you’re pulled over? Here’s a quick guide to help you out.
What to Do When You’re Pulled Over
First things first: If police want to pull you over, pull over. Don’t speed up – just come to a complete stop safely on the right side of the road. (Running from police is a serious crime, whether you’re guilty of whatever they’re pulling you over for or not.)
Pro tip: Use your turn signal and pull far enough off the road that the police officer has room to approach your car.
When you stop, turn off the car. Roll down your window and, if you’re smoking, put out your cigarette (not by flinging it out the window, though). Little things like this don’t cost you anything, but they can show the officer who’s pulled you over that you’re not there to make his or her life harder. Turn on your dome light if it’s dark; otherwise, just put both hands on the steering wheel where the officer can see them.
Don’t reach for anything.
If the officer wants your license and registration, he or she will tell you. Then, you can let the officer know that you need to reach into your pocket or glove compartment to retrieve them and wait for his or her confirmation before you do.
Usually, police aren’t allowed to search your vehicle during a routine traffic stop. However, there are several exceptions – such as when an officer sees you make a suspicious movement (like you’re hiding something) or when he or she sees something illegal in the car (like an open container of alcohol, a joint or a gun). If the officer has a good reason to suspect you have something, he or she may be authorized to search you and your vehicle.
Do You Have Issues Stemming From a Traffic Stop?
If you were arrested and charged with a crime after a traffic stop, our Milwaukee criminal defense lawyers may be able to help you. Call us at 414-383-6700 or get in touch with us online to tell us what happened. We’ll answer your questions and start building a defense that gets you the best possible outcome.