Getting pulled over by law enforcement may feel intimidating. Whether you were in the wrong or not, your behavior significantly impacts how police proceed with the stop.
Avoiding these common mistakes keeps everyone safe and should get you back on the road quickly.
1. Trying to negotiate out of a citation
Trying to talk your way out of a ticket can lead to more problems. Officers might view your actions as nervous or suspicious and look closer for other violations. Instead, acknowledge the citation and use your legal right to a court hearing to dispute the charges.
2. Disregarding police instructions
Whether you believe you did or did not do anything wrong, you must always follow the officers’ instructions at a stop. Following their commands ensures your safety as well as theirs. When you do not follow instructions or purposely do something other than what officers ask, you may get charged for your behavior even if the initial stop would not have resulted in a citation.
3. Consenting to a search
Even when you have nothing to hide from law enforcement officers, you do not have to give consent for them to search your person or vehicle. If they ask for your permission, you have the constitutional right to say no without that leading to a presumption of guilt. However, if police officers have probable cause, they do not need to ask your permission, and cooperating is in your best interest.
Knowing how your behavior impacts the progression of a traffic stop should encourage you to avoid these mistakes so you drive away with minimal repercussions.