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Traffic Stops

What to do when you see the bright lights… and they aren’t from the city.

Late night. Just wanting to get home. Mind focused on the hundreds of things you have to do. All of a sudden – lights flashing in your rear view mirror. Panick sets in. Adrenaline rush. Mind races. What do you do? First, always keep safety in mind – yours, the other drivers and the officers.

It is hard to always know what is the best thing to do when you don’t have your lawyer there with you, so here is a list of suggestions for when you are pulled over by the police for a DUI/DWI, reckless driving, speeding or other traffic charge:

First, come to a complete stop on the safe side of the road as soon as possible. Remove yourself from moving traffic.

Second, roll down your window, and put your hands on the steering wheel or where they can been easily seen by the officer. Do not get out of the car unless directed to do so.

Third, be polite and respectful at all times, even if the officer is not.

Fourth, comply with the officer’s request for license and registration. Ask permission to reach into the glove box if necessary.

Fifth, the officer may ask if you are transporting weapons or drugs in your automobile. This is a standard question, so give them a standard answer, “No.”

Sixth, if the officer is asking permission, (“Can I search your car,” “Do you mind if…”) remember that these are requests and you do not have to consent. You may and should always say no. You have the right to not be subjected to a search (of your car and your person). If he wants to search your car or you, he must have probably cause (legal reason) to believe that there is criminal activity going on – UNLESS you give consent. Get in the habit of saying “no thank you.”

Seventh, if the officer is ordering you to do something, e.g., “step out of the car,” you must comply.

Eighth, make no statements. All statements you make (including Field Sobriety tests and Preliminary Breath Tests) to the officer, can be used against you in court (even if you were not advised of your Miranda rights). The less said, the better.

Finally, if you are arrested, do not talk with the police. Request a lawyer before answering any questions. Immediately contact a lawyer who will be able to assist you with your legal issues.

If you are arrested and/or charged with a crime of DUI/DWI, reckless driving, speeding or other traffic offense, and you need an experienced attorney, call Biberaj Snow & Sinclair, PC. We can represent you throughout Virginia.

If your case is in Loudoun County, we should be your first and only choice when you are looking for the best representation – we are the Loudoun Lawyers.

Matthew Snow

About the Author Attorney Biberaj Snow & Sinclair has been achieving successful outcomes
during pre-trial negotiations as well as in the courtroom, defending
clients on nearly all types of criminal defense cases.

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