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What are ways to handle a traffic violation stop?

It is natural to feel afraid when police sirens go off behind you. An officer is approaching you and thinks you have done something wrong. Still, you should do what you can to maintain calm over your situation. Once you have stopped and the officer comes up to speak to you, there are a number of things you can do to help your situation.

You should also be aware of what not to do. Even saying the wrong thing could come back to haunt you if you have to deal with a traffic violation charge in court.

Watch what you say

Nerdwallet explains that you should cooperate with an officer, but do not reveal too much information. Remember that an officer will write down notes on what you say, particularly if it sounds like you are admitting to a traffic violation or some other crime. Your words could become the basis for law enforcement to incriminate you in court.

Try to be nondescript

Attempting to argue your way out of a ticket might be counterproductive since the officer will probably not let you off anyway. In fact, being unremarkable in the eyes of the police might work to your benefit. When it comes time for the officer to testify in court, the officer may not recall the traffic stop easily and could gloss over details that cast you in an unfavorable light.

Make a detailed record

Once the officer has left, start writing down anything you can about the traffic stop. Record the time of day, the location where the traffic stop had occurred, and how the officer had behaved. If you had glimpsed your vehicle’s instrumentation like the speedometer, write down the speed as you remember it.

Take a good look at the surroundings. Something in the area may have affected your driving. For instance, the officer may have cited you for running a stop sign or driving past a speed limit. Look to see if a tree or something was obscuring a nearby traffic sign. Any small detail could affect your case.