How to Survive a Traffic Stop
Being pulled over by the police can be very stressful, especially if you do not know what to do. If you or the driver of a car that you are a passenger in is stopped by the police, remember to stay calm. You have rights, and this is a great time to know and exercise those rights.
Anything You Say Can or Will Be Used Against You
The right to remain silent is the most important right that you have when speaking to the police. It is imperative that you understand that anything you say or do during the stop will be used against you.
Before You Speak to the Officer
When You Realize You’re Being Pulled Over
The moment that you realize you are being pulled over, turn on your blinker to indicate that you are aware that you are being stopped and that you are looking for the closest and safest location to stop your vehicle.
If you must stop your vehicle on the side of the road, ensure that you are not in the way of any oncoming traffic that could endanger the officer or yourself.
After You Stop Your Vehicle
Once your vehicle is stopped, place your hands in a place that will be immediately visible to the officer when they approach.
Next, take a deep breath and remain calm.
Cooperating with the Officer
Cooperation with the officer can be imperative. Remain polite and avoid being argumentative, even if you do not believe that you have done anything wrong.
Remember: Charges Are Fought in Court, Not During Traffic Stops
If the officer asks you for your driver’s license, vehicle registration, and proof of auto insurance, you should provide them without reluctance. If these items are located in a compartment of the vehicle, inform the officer of where it is located, and ask for permission to retrieve it.
WHAT NOT TO DO:
1. Do not explain anything to the officer
2. Do not answer any questions that they ask
WHAT TO DO:
1. Remain silent as much as possible
2. Inform the officer that you will remain silent
3. After you inform the officer, answer every question with the statement, “I wish to remain silent.”
4. Remain silent until you have had the opportunity to speak with an attorney.
Should I Consent to a Search?
It is important to remember that you don’t have to consent to a search of yourself, your vehicle, or any of your personal belongings. Be aware that the officer may still conduct a search without your consent. If the officer proceeds with a search, remain calm and do not verbally or physically resist. This is now an issue for the court to decide.
If you are Given a Ticket
If you are given a ticket, you have survived the traffic stop. Once the officer leaves, take a deep breath. You have won the first battle.
Next, call the law offices of Smith, Welch, Webb & White at 770.957.3937.
If you are arrested
If you are arrested, do not fight or resist the arrest. Instead, immediately ask to speak to an attorney.
Remain silent until you have spoken to an attorney.
Key Points to Remember
1. Stay calm. Do not argue or resist.
2. Provide your driver’s license, vehicle registration, and proof of auto insurance. It’s the law.
3. Be quiet.
4. Do not consent to anything, especially a search of yourself, your vehicle, or your personal belongings.
5. If you are arrested or given a ticket, speak to an attorney.
Call or contact the law office of Smith, Welch, Webb and White for experienced attorneys that can serve your legal needs. We have six convenient locations in McDonough, Stockbridge, Peachtree City, Jackson, Barnesville, and Griffin. We serve clients all over the state as one of Georgia’s most respected law firms.
Any representations regarding the law in this Blog is made available for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog site you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the Blog publisher. The Blog should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.
Averiel Jackson received her undergraduate degree at Purdue University, in West Lafayette, Indiana. She then attended Atlanta’s John Marshall law school where she graduated with her Juris Doctor.
Upon graduation from law school, Averiel became the Staff Attorney to the Honorable Chief Judge Collier in Clayton County Superior Court, where she gained countless hours of courtroom experience, and prepared the Judge’s orders and opinions in both civil and criminal cases.