Getting pulled over by the police can be a nerve-wracking experience. You may be feeling anxious, scared, or even embarrassed. However, it is important to remain calm and composed if you are pulled over in Louisiana. You can take some steps to ensure that your traffic stop goes smoothly and that you stay within your legal rights.
In this blog, we are going to share some tips and insights on how to react when you get pulled over.
What to Do When You Are Pulled Over?
Do Not Argue With the Officer
Regardless of whether you feel you were unfairly stopped, you must remain calm and polite. Arguing with an officer or making any comments about why they stopped you could result in additional charges being placed against you. Remember, anything said during a traffic stop can be used against you in court.
Stay Calm and Follow the Instructions
When an officer pulls you over, you should first turn off your car, roll down your window and turn on any interior lights so that the officer can see clearly inside the vehicle. Remain seated until instructed to do otherwise by the officer. Speak as calmly as possible, address the officer politely and follow all instructions given to you, such as presenting documentation when asked.
Keep Your Hands Visible
It’s important that you keep your hands visible at all times. This can help to reduce the officer’s level of anxiety and make them feel more at ease. It is also important to remember that you don’t have to consent to a search of your vehicle, but it is best not to physically resist if asked.
Inform the Officer of Any True Emergencies
If a true emergency caused you to be on the road at the time of your stop (e.g., your child’s school called or your mother was just admitted to the hospital), it is important to inform the officer immediately. Otherwise, make no comment whatsoever regarding why you were on the road at that time.
Document Obscured Signs and Other Vehicles
If there was a stop sign or speed limit sign that was hard to see because it was turned or obscured by a tree, take a picture of it right away with your cell phone camera. Additionally, if another vehicle veered into your lane, came close to pushing you off the road, or another driver threatened you in any way during your trip—get their license plate number and report it immediately after being pulled over.
Get Insurance or a New Brake Tag Before the Court Date
If, upon pulling up, an officer notices that either your insurance has expired or that your brake tag is out of date—it’s best to get both taken care of before going to court for any related charges, as proof of both will likely be required during this process.
Why Should You Hire a Traffic Court Lawyer?
While most people may view hiring a traffic court lawyer as an unnecessary expense; however, doing so could save them from facing expensive car insurance premiums for years down the line due to moving violations appearing on their record.
A lawyer specializing in traffic tickets can help ensure all evidence from both sides is presented fairly and accurately in court—and frequently get tickets reduced/dismissed altogether based on extenuating circumstances surrounding them. Therefore, if someone finds themselves dealing with such issues—seeking legal counsel may be well worth their while!
It is important to remain calm during a traffic stop and follow all instructions given by the officer. Remember, anything that you say can be used against you in court. Be sure to document any obscured signs or other vehicles involved so that you have evidence if needed later on.
Finally, consider hiring a traffic court lawyer specializing in these matters if fines or other legal penalties are likely to be imposed. Taking these steps can ensure a smoother and more successful outcome for you when dealing with traffic-related issues.
At Ellen Cronin Badeaux, LLC, we understand that traffic-related issues can be stressful and intimidating. That is why we offer free family law, criminal defense, and personal injury phone or office consultations to help you get the legal advice you need. We also provide $25 walk-in Notary Public services and $50 family law, criminal defense, and mediation office consultations (credited as a retainer when we are hired). Contact us today to learn more!