What To Expect at a Traffic Stop in Newport News

If you have been pulled over by law enforcement in Newport News it is important you know what to expect and what to avoid, in order to keep your situation from getting any worse. Below, a Newport News reckless driving lawyer provides step by step instructions on what you should do at a traffic stop and what to be ready for. Call today and schedule a consultation to learn more.

Newport News Traffic Stop Process

If you see sirens in your rearview mirror, it usually means that you’re being pulled over. You should pull over in the next safest closest place that is available for you to pull over. If there’s no shoulder, then you should keep driving until you find a good safe area to pull over or take the nearest exit to find a place to pull over.

If you’re going to be a while before you pull over, the best thing to do is put your hazards on so that the police officer knows that you’re looking for a place to pull over and aren’t just trying to evade him. If it’s nighttime, a place that would be considered to be safe in the daytime may not be as safe in the evening.

It is okay to pull off and find an area that’s well-lit and more populated such as a gas station to pull over at nighttime. However, you should put your hazards on to let the officer know that you have seen him and are acknowledging him.

In Newport News, you can generally expect for the traffic stop to be over very quickly. The officer will pull you over and get your information from you fairly quickly and then let you be on your way, either with a ticket or a warning.

What Should You Do After You’ve Been Pulled Over?

Once you pulled over during the day, you should roll down your window just enough for the documents to be passed through and to be able to communicate with the officer. You don’t have to roll it down all the way, but it’s generally just easier to show that you’re cooperating if you do roll it down all the way.

You don’t want to do anything that’s going to startle the police offer or create any sort of suspicion that you may be up to something. It’s important to remember that the officer doesn’t know you at all and he’s going to be concerned for his own safety as well as getting through the stop as efficiently as possible.

With that said, you should keep your hands on the steering wheel and wait for the officer to address you before you say anything. When the officer asks you for your driver’s license and vehicle registration, then it’s okay to reach for your glove box. However do so slowly so you don’t startle the officer and make him think you’re reaching around for anything dangerous.

You should not turn your vehicle off because if it doesn’t start, then both of you will be stuck on the side of the road and that’s not going to go well for either of you.

Are There Different Steps at Night?

If you’re pulled over during the evening, the only thing that’s really different is that it’s recommended that you turn on the inside light in your vehicle. This is to show the officer that you don’t have anything to hide and that he doesn’t have anything to worry about.

Being Pulled Over By An Unmarked Vehicle

If you have concerns that an unmarked vehicle may not be a police officer because the officer is in plain clothes, it’s okay for you to ask to see a badge. However, a lot of people aren’t going to know what a legitimate police badge looks like.

So, a better option if you don’t know what the badge is supposed to look like is to just call the non-emergency police number and ask them to verify that the police officer that has pulled you over is a legitimate police officer.

Questions and Information An Officer Will Ask For

You can expect the officer to ask you for your license and registration, which you should provide for him. Sometimes, the officer will ask you general questions about why you were pulled over such as, “Do you know how fast you were going?” or, “Do you know why I pulled you over?”

These types of general questions are not required to be answered. You don’t have to admit or deny anything or offer any type of explanation for what you are accused of doing. The best thing to do is tell the officer that you would rather not talk about the details of the stop but you do wish to remain cooperative.

After Giving The Officer Your License and Information

The officer will take all these documents back to his police cruiser where he will usually run these through the system and then decide if he’s going to issue you a ticket or not. At this point, you should just remain in your vehicle until the officer returns.

Biggest Mistakes To Avoid At a Traffic Stop

The biggest mistake to avoid at a traffic stop are saying anything that’s going to be taken as an admission of guilt, or anything that can be used later as evidence against you. For example, if the officer’s asking you why you were driving at that speed or anything related to the actual incident, it’s best to not answer those questions.

Another big mistake to avoid is angering the police officer. You don’t want to do anything that’s going to make him testify against you at your trial and tell the judge that you were uncooperative or rude or that you did something that caused a simple situation like a speeding ticket to escalate to something more where the officer had to pull you out of your vehicle. In general, it’s always better to cooperate and then fight your offense in court.