What to Do When You’re Pulled Over by Police in South Jersey

There’s nothing quite like the feeling that you get when you see flashing red and blue lights behind you in your rear view mirror and you realize that you’re being pulled over by the police. In some cases you know exactly why you’re being stopped – you were speeding, or maybe your tail light is out and you keep forgetting to fix it. In other cases, you have no idea why you’re being pulled over, and you can feel your blood pressure rise at the injustice of it. No matter what the circumstances, you want to protect your rights while still behaving appropriately. The South Jersey traffic ticket lawyers at Wallace Law are able to provide you with the representation you need if you’ve been charged with a traffic violation or other offense. Here’s what to do when you’re pulled over by police in South Jersey.

The first and most important thing to remember in this situation is to remain calm. There is no reason for you to yell, or run away, or say anything that you might be sorry for later.  You should keep your hands where the police can see them and don’t resist – even if you know that you are innocent. It is easier to resolve a situation later when you have acted respectfully then to get yourself into worse trouble – or end up getting hurt – by resisting.

If you are concerned about officers wanting to search your vehicle, you do have the right to refuse if they do not have a warrant or probable cause to believe that they will find something illegal or evidence of a crime – but all you should do is voice your refusal to consent – do not attempt to intervene. You cannot be arrested for refusing to consent. Any evidence collected in an unlawful search can be disqualified from being used against you later.

If the police officers ask you questions, including where you have been or where you are going, there is no reason for you to answer them beyond telling them that you are invoking your right to remain silent. If you are arrested, you can ask for an attorney and then your attorney will be able to use the law to protect your rights. Remember that the right to remain silent does not mean that you do not have to provide your license, registration or insurance card. You are required to present those if the officer asks for them. You are also required to get out of the car if the police order you to do so, though the same is not true of a passenger unless they believe that there is a specific reason to be concerned.

If the police have pulled you over because they believe that you were driving under the influence, remember that refusing to take an alcohol screening test will not protect you from losing your driving privileges.

Any encounter with the police can be intimidating, but remembering these basic rules can be helpful and may keep you from getting yourself into trouble. If you are arrested or have been charged with a traffic violation, contact the South Jersey traffic ticket lawyers at Wallace Law to discuss your case.