When a Police Officer approaches your car during a traffic stop, it is important that you do everything you can to make the Officer feel comfortable. Be sure to keep your hands where the Officer can see them, answer the Officer’s questions, and be honest.
For more information regarding a driver’s etiquette during a traffic stop in West Palm Beach, reach out to one of our experienced Attorneys at Leifert & Leifert today.
Are Drivers Required to Answer an Officer’s Questions?
Drivers are only required to answer an Officer’s questions depending on what they are asking. For example, if the Officer is asking general questions about their identification, their driver’s license, where they live, etc., they should answer those questions. However, if they start asking questions regarding the smell of alcohol on their breath or how much they have been drinking, they do not have to answer that. Doing could be considered self-incrimination, and the driver could end up being charged with a criminal offense.
Is there Anything a Driver Should Ask the Officer When Pulled Over?
Drivers are allowed to ask a Police Officer the reason for the traffic stop. However, drivers should be mindful of the way they ask an Officer questions and should not ask any questions that would agitate the Officer. At the end of the day, the Officer is in charge of the traffic stop and they will not tolerate any driver who is not willing to comply or is trying to be difficult with the Officer. The time to argue with an Officer is in the courtroom via an experienced criminal defense attorney, so drivers should keep their questions to a minimum and only regarding why they are being pulled over.
If the Driver Knows that Broke the Law, What Should they Say?
If the driver knows they are being pulled over because they broke a law, they should be honest with the Officer. Being honest with an Officer upfront usually goes a long way. The Officer could consider the individual cooperative, which could be taken into consideration if the individual ends up in Court. Individuals can even offer an explanation as to why they broke the law or what circumstances led them to breaking the law. Under no circumstances should the driver argue with the law enforcement Officer. This act would be considered counterproductive and it could make the traffic stop more difficult than it needs to be.
Where Should the Driver’s Hands be When the Officer Approaches the Vehicle?
When the Officer approaches the vehicle, the driver’s hands should be on the steering wheel or where they could see them. A gesture indicating to the Officer that they are willing to comply with the office would be the placement of hands on top of the windowsill so the Officer can see the driver’s hands when they are approaching the car. In addition, the driver could turn off their car, take out their keys in the ignition, and place it on top of the dashboard. This action tells the Officer that they are not a risk to drive away from the Officer and that they are willing to comply.
Schedule a Consultation for More Insight
There are many outcomes that could arise from a traffic stop. However, you could take steps to ensure that your traffic stop does not end in the worst possible manner. A driver’s etiquette during a traffic stop in West Palm Beach could be the difference between a good and bad experience with a Police Officer. To learn more, get in touch with one of our knowledgeable Attorneys at Leifert & Leifert today.