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What to do if you’re pulled over for a traffic violation

| Mar 26, 2020 | Criminal Defense

Even if you’re an extremely safe driver, it can be a challenge to follow the rules of the road at all times. There are situations in which you have no choice but to violate the law, as well as times when you simply make a mistake.

Police officers are always on the lookout for people violating the law, paying close attention to offenses such as:

  • Speeding
  • Reckless driving
  • Illegal passing
  • Violating open container laws
  • Running a stop sign or red light
  • Leaving the scene of an accident
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol

If you’re pulled over for a traffic violation, here’s what you should do:

  • Slow down and move to a safe place: For example, once you see police lights in your rearview mirror, slow down, put on your hazard lights and move to the shoulder of the road. This tells the officer that you see them and you’re complying with their request to pull over.
  • Stay in your vehicle: It should go without saying, but some people get so anxious that they exit their vehicle to see what’s going on. This puts the officer in a compromising position, as they may assume their safety is at risk. It’s imperative to stay where you are and keep your hands on the wheel.
  • Provide the requested information: The officer will ask you for your license, proof of insurance and registration. Make sure you know where it’s located in your vehicle, such as the glove box or center console.
  • Don’t admit guilt: This is particularly true if you plan on fighting the ticket, as you don’t want to admit any wrongdoing. If the officer asks you if you know what you did, you can simply reply “no.”

If you receive a ticket, you may come to realize it’s in your best interest to fight back. If you don’t, it could ding your driving record, result in a license suspension and/or cause your insurance premium to increase.

It’s stressful to fight back in traffic court, but doing so can help protect your legal rights. Even if you end up having to pay the fine, you may still be able to avoid other consequences associated with the violation.

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