It is never a good time when you get pulled over by law enforcement. Even if you did nothing wrong, the whole ordeal can make you distressed which could turn a misunderstanding into something far more serious. There are all sorts of things that can go wrong if you do not keep a cool head, which is why it is essential that you do not do anything that can make law enforcement more suspicious of any wrongdoing. If you make sure to maintain a calm approach anytime you interact with a police officer, you will have little reason to worry. However, this may not always be the case. If you find yourself facing charges after being pulled over by law enforcement, please contact the Middlesex County criminal defense attorneys at The Law Office of Michael A. Policastro to get the legal representation you deserve.
What steps should I take if I am pulled over by law enforcement?
Avoiding any unnecessary behavior, no matter how nervous or emotional you may get, is always discouraged when you are pulled over by law enforcement. Unless a police officer tells you to do so, do not do anything that could give them reason to believe you are a potential threat. For example, do not make any sudden movements regardless of the intent. Even if it is something as innocuous as reaching for your license or taking your seatbelt off, actions like that could make an officer view you as a threat which can escalate the situation. Although, unless you are instructed to do so, nothing will put an officer on alert faster than if you get out of your car. No matter what the circumstances are, staying in your car is one of the best ways to prevent a routine stop from turning into something far more serious.
The manner in which you communicate with the officer can also be the difference between a smooth interaction and a chaotic mess. For instance, if you start speaking before the officer has even said anything to you, it could give them the wrong impression and may lead them to think you have something to hide. Let them ask their questions, but make sure not to admit guilt when answering them. You should always be honest with law enforcement, but that does not mean you need to incriminate yourself. However, the last thing you want any interaction with a police officer to turn into is an argument. Not only will it escalate the situation, but it may also lead to harsher charges which can mean stricter penalties for you.
It should also be noted that even if you do everything right, there is no guarantee that you will avoid charges. Always make sure to have an experienced criminal defense attorney by your side to guide you through your next steps.