Tips for Interacting with Police During a Traffic Stop
Nobody likes interacting with police. Even if it is just a simple traffic stop, many drivers feel a surge of anxiety when they see flashing red and blue lights behind them. When you do interact with police, there are certain things which you should avoid doing. Following a few simple rules can help you minimize problems stemming from a police interaction. When you hear sirens or see flashing lights in your rearview mirror, make sure to keep the following rules in mind.
Do Not Keep Driving When You Are Being Pulled Over
If police are attempting to pull you over, never ignore them. According to Illinois law, fleeing or evading police is a crime. If police give you a signal to pull over and you increase speed or extinguish your lights, you can be arrested on an evasion charge. You can wait until it is safe to pull over, but do not wait too long. Pulling over without delay can also lessen the chances of further angering a frustrated or annoyed police officer. Use your turn signal when you are changing lanes and pull over as far to the right as possible.
Do Not Get Out of the Vehicle Unless or Until You Are Told to Do So
Police officers do not know who they are interacting with when they pull a driver over. The driver could be a friendly, law-abiding citizen, or the driver could be someone intent on doing harm to the officer. The officer has no way of knowing whether or not you have a weapon or harmful intent. Therefore, it is very important that anyone who is pulled over by police does not get out of their car without being told to do so. Police may mistake a person getting out of their car without permission as threatening, and the results could be tragic.
Do Not Incriminate Yourself
Police are trained to ask leading questions so you will incriminate or “tell on” yourself. Do not admit to any traffic violations or that you were driving negligently. The officer may ask you questions like “do you know why I stopped you?” Answer with a simple “no.” Police may also try to get you to consent to a vehicle search by saying something like, “You do not mind if I take a look around the vehicle, right?” Do not fall for this tactic. You always have the right to politely refuse a vehicle search. The officer may search your car anyway, but if you denied the search, it could benefit you in any criminal proceedings later.
Contact a Will County Criminal Defense Attorney
If you are facing criminal charges related to a traffic stop, contact a Joliet Illinois traffic crimes defense attorney at the Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba, P.C. for help. To schedule a free consultation of your case, call us at 815-740-4025 today.