What Should I Avoid When Pulled Over by Police?

Harrell & Paulson

Whether you committed a traffic violation or not, getting pulled over by the police can be an anxiety-inducing experience. Law enforcement is supposed to have reasonable suspicion to pull over a vehicle, meaning you can be stopped for several reasons. When you’re pulled over, knowing what to avoid is crucial to evading tickets or a criminal charge. However, if you find yourself in legal trouble after a traffic stop, a Kaufman County, Texas criminal defense lawyer can help defend you in a court of law.

Avoid Arguments When Pulled Over

Though it’s natural to want to know why you were pulled over if you know you did nothing wrong, you should avoid asking the officer questions until they speak to you. Unfortunately, many officers agree that when a driver immediately asks why they’ve been stopped, it can set an argumentative and hostile tone for the encounter. Instead, wait until the officer speaks to you first.

Arguing with the officer is not recommended, even if you have done nothing wrong. While a police officer cannot arrest or charge you with “arguing,” they may tack on a disorderly conduct charge.

Do Not Accidentally Admit Anything

One thing you may not realize when speaking with police officers is that anything you say can be used against you in a court of law. This means if you admit to having a few drinks when trying to be honest, they can use that to prove you were intoxicated while driving. Or, if you acknowledge you were speeding for whatever reason, you can face a reckless driving charge, meaning you can be immediately arrested.

In general, you should utilize the right to remain silent when speaking with police during a traffic stop, as many of the questions they ask are phrased intentionally to get you to admit guilt. The only information you are legally obligated to provide during a traffic stop is your license, registration, and proof of insurance. You do not need to answer any additional questions about where you were headed or if you know why you were stopped. When choosing to remain silent, you should inform the officer that you wish to invoke the right while remaining polite.

Contact a Lawyer

If taken into custody during a traffic stop, it’s essential to avoid trying to evade arrest or becoming physical with the officers. Compliance does not indicate guilt, so following their instructions is crucial to avoid additional charges.

If arrested during a traffic stop for whatever reason, ensuring you reach out to an experienced criminal attorney is essential. Whether you’re charged with driving under the influence or driving recklessly, hiring someone well-versed in these matters is crucial.

Though a traffic arrest may not seem like a big deal, it can leave a permanent stain on your record. Reach out to Harrell & Paulson to connect with a dedicated criminal attorney. We will do our best to keep your criminal history free from charges.