Picture this – you’re on your way to work, driving the same route you do every day when you suddenly notice flashing lights behind you. You move over, assuming they’ll pass you, before realizing you’re getting pulled over. The next thing you know, you’re out of the car in handcuffs because you didn’t know how to properly navigate the traffic stop. If you’re facing a criminal charge after a traffic stop, ensuring you reach out to a seasoned Hidalgo County, Texas criminal defense lawyer is essential to keeping your record clean.
What to Do When Being Pulled Over
If you notice that you are being pulled over, taking the correct steps can help frame the situation differently. Though it can be frustrating when you’ve done nothing wrong, acting in a particular manner can be a recipe for disaster.
Pulling over slowly and using your blinker can help alert the officer to your understanding of the situation. After you’ve pulled over, it’s best to put your car’s hazard lights on, roll down the windows, and turn your engine off. If it’s dark out, you may want to put your car’s interior lights on. Similarly, you should not unbuckle your seatbelt or remove your hands from the wheel until instructed by the officer.
When speaking with the officer, you should remain polite and non-argumentative. Though it can be frustrating to be questioned by the police, staying calm and deescalating the situation as much as possible is recommended.
Don’t Admit to Anything
When speaking with the officer, you may immediately want to defend yourself. This is completely natural. However, knowing how to respond to questions is crucial, as police often ask questions in a way that elicits a confession.
For example, if pulled over for speeding, a police officer may ask if you know how fast you were going. If you say no, this can make it seem like you weren’t paying attention to the road and thus driving recklessly. If you say yes, you just admitted to speeding if the officer is pulling you over for traveling above the legal speed limit. However, many agree that a simple “yes” without elaboration is the safest answer to this question.
You also have the right to remain silent when interacting with the police. While there is some information you are legally obliged to provide during a traffic search, such as your license, registration, and proof of insurance, you are not required to provide any additional information. Remaining silent is not an admission of guilt.
Contact a Lawyer
If you were charged with a crime such as a DWI after a traffic stop, ensuring that you take the proper precautions to keep your record clean is essential. Whether you’re guilty or not, Angel Davila Law can help represent you. Don’t hesitate to reach out if facing criminal charges after a traffic stop.