Dealing With Officers at Traffic Stops in Virginia
Being pulled over in Virginia can be intimidating, espcially if you have not interacted with law enforcement officers before. With this in mind, the following is information on how you should react when pulled over for a traffic offense and what you can expect from the officer. For more specific information on traffic stops or to learn more about challenging a ticket, call and schedule a consultation with a traffic defense attorney in Virginia today.
What Should You Expect When An Officer Approaches Your Vehicle?
Generally the officer will always ask you for your license and registration. There are other questions that they may ask which you don’t have to comply with but you should always give your information and your registrations to the police officer. Any other questions tend to be related to why you were pulled over such as:
- Did you know you were speeding?
- Do you know how fast you were going?
- Do you know why I pulled you over?
You don’t have to answer these questions but you should definitely always be polite and cooperative throughout the entire interaction. Because if you are rude this may come out later to hurt the case when it’s presented in the officer’s testimony in court.
If An Officer Asks You If You Know You Were Speeding or How Fast You Were Going, What Should You Say?
You should not admit guilt to anything like this, because whatever you say the officer is going to repeat in court. So if your officer asked if you knew you were speeding and you say yes, you have given him all of the evidence that he needs in order to convict you for speeding. The best thing to do is say you do not wish to answer these questions but you do want to remain cooperative.
Should You Exit Your Vehicle To Speak To The Officer?
You should definitely not exit your vehicle to go speak to the officer. There is no reason that you need to step out of your vehicle unless the officer specifically requests that you do so.
What Should You Expect After You Give The Officer Your License and Registration?
The officer will take these documents back to his own vehicle and will generally use them to run your information through the system and then issue you your speeding ticket or traffic infraction ticket. He will then come back to your vehicle, ask you to sign the document, return your documents to you and you will be free to go.
It is usually best just to keep your mouth shut unless you don’t understand what you’re being charged with or why you were pulled over.
When You’re Given a Ticket By An Officer, Is There Anything You Should Read?
There’s nothing that’s time sensitive that you need to look at immediately on a ticket. Any mistakes on the ticket are not going to affect your case and can be corrected later. So it’s absolutely okay for you to just worry about getting safely back on the road and then inspecting the ticket later.
What Are The Biggest Mistakes To Avoid During a Traffic Stop?
During a traffic stop, the main things to keep in mind are that you don’t want to incriminate yourself, and therefore you should remain quiet and not provide any unnecessary information or try to argue with the officer. You definitely don’t want to admit to anything so be very careful when answering any questions if you decide to do so.
Another mistake to avoid is alarming or threatening the officer in any way. You don’t want to do anything that may be suspicious, which could result in the officer searching your car or wanting to frisk you. You want the interaction to be short and over with as quickly as possible, so the best thing to do is cooperate and then just be on your way.