Many of us will, at some point, be pulled over by law enforcement while
driving. Fortunately, in most cases, these traffic stops tend to be minor
and only result in a warning or, at worst, a traffic ticket. A situation
can elevate quickly, however, and what might have seemed like a routine
traffic stop and suddenly turn into a serious situation, leading to an
arrest. To prevent this from happening to you, take some time to understand
your rights when law enforcement stops you.
Here is what you need to know about traffic stops in California:
1.Why were you stopped? Some of the most common reasons why one might be stopped by a police officer include:
- The license plate on your vehicle is either expired or improperly affixed to it.
- A light, such as your headlight, turn signal, tail light, or brake light,
is not working.
- You threw a piece of trash out of your window.
- Your windshield is obstructed.
- You were speeding or driving recklessly.
2.What are your rights at a traffic stop? Being stopped by a police officer can be an intimidating and scary experience
and you might feel uneasy or behave nervously, even if you were not doing
anything wrong. Police know that their presence is daunting and oftentimes,
people are not treated fairly or legally by law enforcement, which is
why it is crucial to know your rights. When a police officer signals for
you to stop, you must always safely pull over to the side of the road,
away from traffic. During this traffic stop, you have the right to remain
silent and the right to an attorney during an interrogation.
3.What should I do at a traffic stop? Always keep your hands in plain view on top of the steering wheel and
wait until the officer asks for you to retrieve your license, registration,
and proof of insurance. If an officer tells you that you are free to go,
you can continue on your way, but if not, you can politely ask why you
are being detained. If the officer asks to search your vehicle, you do
not have to consent to this. In fact, clearly state that you do not consent
to a search.
If the officer is issuing a ticket, cooperate and sign the ticket. If you
fail to cooperate, you could get arrested. You should absolutely never
lie to a police officer. If there is something you do not want to divulge,
remember that it is your right to remain silent.
Whatever the circumstances, always remain polite and cooperative, but exercise
your rights if necessary.
DUI Defense Attorney in Ventura
If you were arrested and charged with a DUI, now is the time to seek the
representation you deserve to ensure your rights are protected. At The
Law Offices of Robert F. Sommers, we have over 20 years of experience
in representing those accused of a DUI under any and all circumstances.
Contact our office today at (805) 919-8662 to schedule a free consultation.