What To Expect When Getting Pulled Over in Virginia
One should expect Virginia traffic stops to be fairly straight forward. The traffic stop includes the police officer putting the sirens on or his lights on to pull you over, asking for your registration and your license, running your documents and information through the system in order to determine if there are any warrants out for your arrest and then issuing the ticket. There’s not a whole lot more that goes into it.
When You See Sirens in Your Rearview Mirror, What Should You Do?
If you see sirens it means that you are being pulled over and what you should do is safely pull over as soon as you can. If you cannot pull over safely immediately then you should put your hazards on so that the police officer knows that you have seen him. Then you should find the next available safe spot to pull over and do so.
If you are pulled over at night, and you’re worried about safety reasons then you should do the same thing as during the day. The only difference really is that at night, what may have been a safe place to pull over in the daytime, changes. It’s okay for you to put your hazards on and then drive a little bit so that you get to a more populated area such as a gas station and then pull over safely there.
Once Pulled Over, What Should You Do?
If you’re pulled over during the day, you should roll down your window enough to be able to communicate well with the officer and pass any documents. You should turn off your radio. You should keep your hands on the steering wheel where the police officer can see them and you should let the officer speak first to tell you what steps you need to take.
Typically they will ask you for your license and registration. At this point, it’s okay for you to take your hands off the steering wheel and reach for these documents, as long as you do so in a non-threatening and unsuspicious manner. You should avoid any quick movement or reaching into something without telling the officer what you’re doing.
You need to keep in mind that officer’s safety is a huge issue for our police officers. They have no idea who you are or what you have in your vehicle and if they see you quickly reaching for something under the seat, for all they know it’s a gun and then they could feel threatened, which can obviously negatively affect you.
Is There Any Difference At a Nighttime Stop?
The only difference really in a nighttime stop is that it may be advisable for you to turn the inside light on in your vehicle. This is again to keep in mind that the police officer doesn’t know who you are and is concerned for his own safety. If you turn your light on in the interior, it shows that you are not trying to hide anything and you’re willing to cooperate with the officer.
Patrick Woolley Attorney At Law
Leesburg, VA 20175
Warrenton, VA 20186