Hampton Roads Traffic Stops

During a traffic stop, a person should remain calm and wait for the officer to approach the car. It is normal for an officer to glance through the car in an effort to potentially charge you with other offenses. However, an officer cannot search your vehicle without probable cause, but they can look into your vehicle. If you would like to know more about what to do and what not to do during a traffic stop, get in touch with a knowledgeable attorney. A lawyer can walk you through the process of Hampton Roads traffic stops.

Process of a Traffic Stop in Hampton Roads

The process of the traffic stop begins when the officer signals a person to pull over using their sirens. The driver should pull over, the officer will identify themselves, ask for the driver’s license and registration, and then ask if the driver is aware of why they are being stopped. The officer will tell the driver why they are being stopped. The officer may continue to talk to the driver or look around the car for any weapons or contraband. The officer will go back to their vehicle, run the driver’s license and registration through DMV, and return with a summons for the driver.

How to Interact with a Police Officer During a Traffic Stop

When a driver sees a siren in their rearview mirror, they should pull over as soon as they can safely do so. The driver should not pull over if it is unsafe, but they should at least reduce their speed and put on their hazard light to let the officer know they are aware and will get off the road as safely and quickly as they can.

After the officer approaches the vehicle, if a person’s window is up, the officer will knock on it. Otherwise, they will greet the driver and ask for their license and registration. A driver’s hands ideally should be on the steering wheel. If the officer cannot see a person’s hands, it can be considered hostile behavior. A person wants to try to keep their hands on the wheel or at least on their lap where an officer can see them.

A person should not exit the vehicle unless asked to do so. To police, that is a safety issue. If a person makes an attempt to leave the vehicle even though the officer wants them to remain in the vehicle, that can be considered resisting arrest, which can escalate Hampton Roads traffic stops and lead to another charge.

Receiving a Ticket from a Police Officer

A person should look at the ticket right away to make sure that their name and court date is correct since officers occasionally do write down the wrong day. They may put down a date that is actually a Saturday or Sunday, when there is no court. A person should also verify the city to ensure that the city is in the driver’s jurisdiction.

What to do When Being Pulled Over by an Unmarked Vehicle

It can be difficult for a person to know if they are being pulled over by a legitimate officer because many vehicles are unmarked. That is an issue for a lot of people. For most parts in Virginia, many people will see unmarked vehicles doing regular traffic details. If a person is pulled over by an unmarked officer, it is probably an officer who does not normally handle traffic matters but is pulling over the driver because of something unusual about the person’s driving.

If a person sees the lights to pull over, they should absolutely pull over in a safe, well-lit spot. They should also ask to see the officer’s badge. Most police officers who are in an unmarked vehicle or who are in plain clothes will show their badge immediately so that drivers are aware that this is an actual police officer.

Getting in Touch with a Hampton Roads Criminal Lawyer

For more information regarding Hampton Roads traffic stops, it is recommended to get in touch with a knowledgeable attorney. A lawyer can walk you through the process of being pulled over by law enforcement and teach you what to do and what not to do during a traffic stop. If you require the services of an attorney for a traffic violation, schedule a consultation with an attorney to get started on building a defense.