By Bo Kalabus
24-hour Jail Release: 214-402-4364
In the wake of the recent tragedy in Dallas we must all examine how we interact with police officers if we are stopped for a traffic offense. On a normal day police have very difficult jobs. Usually they are alone and every time they approach a vehicle it is a dangerous situation. However, these are not normal times for the police or us. Tensions for both are at an all time high point. Therefore, we must examine what our actions signal to police when we are stopped. Here are a few helpful tips on how to handle yourself during a traffic stop.
1) Pull Over As Soon As You Can
The longer it takes you pull over the more suspicion this raises to the officer. They are thinking that you may have a reason for wanting to evade them such as having a warrant, or you are buying time to try to hide contraband in the car. This type of situation makes the officer think you might be dangerous and sets the tone for the questioning to come.
2) Pull Over in a Safe Place
It looks really bad if you pull over in a dangerous place, such as pulling to the left median on the Tollway or a major interstate for example. Usually in this scenario it makes the officer have to approach on the right side of the car with traffic flying right by them. This is a very dangerous situation for the officer and again it sets the tone for the questioning.
3) Keep Your Hands Where The Officer Can See Them
Keep your hands on the steering wheel up high where they can be seen or on the window frame while the officer approaches. Nothing puts an officer on point more than movement in the car as they approach. They have no idea if you are looking for your insurance or your trusty .357.
4) Let The Officer Talk First
The officer is going to want the first word. Let them have it and follow the lead. Being interrupted is frustrating for the officer. Don’t make a minor situation worse by being a know it all. The officer is in control.
5) Be Polite
Golden rule time–be polite and courteous. Remember you are being videotaped too. Remember your rights, but stay cool. You can politely refuse to take field sobriety tests and then keep your mouth closed. Don’t make a scene by yelling at the officer asking if you are detained.
If you are charged with a crime, you should contact a competent Collin County Criminal Lawyer to represent you and examine all the possible defenses you could have with your case.