No matter how seldom or how often it might happen, getting pulled over by the police is an experience you never get used to. There are, however, some proactive steps anyone can take to safeguard their rights in these encounters. Below, criminal law attorney Mark O. Grater, Attorney at Law, in Groton, CT, shares a few do’s and don'ts to remember when getting pulled over.
Pull over promptly.
As soon as you see the lights in the rearview, pull your car over to the side of the road. If the police aren't actually looking to stop you, they will simply pass by and will be grateful for you clearing the way. Make sure you are well out of the way of traffic and that there is sufficient room for the officer to safely approach your vehicle.
Have your information ready.
The officer will want to see your driver's license, registration, and proof of insurance. To avoid frantic, last-minute searching, keep these documents together in one central location, such as a folder in your glovebox. Retrieve these items when requested. And if you need to find them or reach across the car to get them, let the officer know you need to look; avoid any sudden movements.
No matter how upset you are or how unfair you find the situation, remember that you are dealing with law enforcement. Stifle your anger for later, and be civil in all your interactions with the cops. If you feel the stop was unnecessary or illegal, take down the officer's information and contact their precinct or a criminal law attorney at a later time.
Being uncooperative is just going to raise an officer's suspicion and give them more reason to search or detain you. Roll your window down completely, and if you're pulled over at night, turn the interior lights on in your vehicle. These easy steps demonstrate that you are open and willing to cooperate, and they can make the difference between an ugly scene and a peaceable one.
If you've been charged with a crime, let Mark O. Grater, Attorney at Law, help you explore your legal options. With more than 30 years' experience, Attorney Grater represents area clients in a variety of legal practice areas, including personal injury, workers' compensation, and bankruptcy cases. Call (860) 449-8059, visit his firm online, or message them on Facebook or Twitter to schedule an appointment with a criminal law attorney today.