McIntosh Law
Speak With Our Attorneys -
Phone: 941-306-3230
View Our Practice Areas

7 best practices during a traffic stop

You have probably been pulled over at some point in your life. You drove to the side of the road, put your car in park and reluctantly waited for the police officer. But did you know the best way to behave from that point forward?

Traffic stops are routine and common, but they can sometimes escalate and go south. Luckily, there are several ways you can help a traffic stop go as smoothly as possible.

  1. Shut off your car. As soon as your car is in park, turn it off. It can ease the officer's mind to see that you have no intentions of fleeing.
  2. Roll your window down sixinches. You should roll the window down far enough that you can have a comfortable conversation with the officer and pass over your documents. However, you don't want to allow them to put their head in the window and potentially claim they smell drugs or alcohol.
  3. Remain respectful. You never want to start a traffic stop on a sour note. Act politely, speak calmly and remember that the officer is simply doing their job. It's also best practice to keep your hands where the officer can see them, so they know you won't make any sudden or dangerous movements.
  4. Know your rights for answering questions. As the officer begins investigating, remember that it's your right to refuse questioning. Even seemingly friendly questions like, "What were you doing tonight?" or "Where are you headed?" can be used to build a case against you. Use your best judgement when choosing when and how to answer.
  5. Know your rights for car searches. The situation might reach the point where the officer asks you to exit your vehicle. Know that you can lock the doors, roll up the windows and tell the officer that you do not consent to a vehicle search. For most common traffic stops, an officer needs your permission to search the vehicle.
  6. Know your rights for leaving. Hopefully your stop doesn't reach the point where you need to ask to leave. But if the officer won't stop making probing inquiries, you may ask, "Am I being detained, or am I free to go?". The officer needs probable cause to detain you, so this question will speed up the process if they don't have a reason to keep you.

Traffic stops are everyday occurrences that usually end with a stern conversation or fine. There's rarely a reason for them to progress. By following these tips, you can help mitigate the chances of a traffic stop ending badly for you.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
  • Avvo Rating 9.6 | Brett Donald McIntosh | Top Attorney
  • Avvo | Clients' Choice Award 2016 | Brett Donald McIntosh
  • Reviews | 5 stars Out of 16 reviews | Brett Donald McIntosh | Avvo
Email Us For A Response

Get Started Today

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Location:

McIntosh Law
766 Hudson Avenue
Suite B
Sarasota, FL 34236

Toll Free: 866-943-0466
Phone: 941-306-3230
Fax: 941-957-0706
Sarasota Law Office Map