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Being pulled over by law enforcement can be a intimidating process especially if it has never happened to you before. With this in mind, the following is what you should know about being pulled over and how you should react in order to minimize any harm related to your traffic stop. To learn more or challenge your speeding ticket, call and schedule a consultation with a Virginia speeding ticket lawyer today.
If you see sirens in your rearview mirror, you can safely assume that you’re being pulled over. So you should try to pull over to the right side of the road as soon and as safely as possible. If you are unable to pull over immediately in a safe manner, then you should turn your hazard lights on to show the officer that you have seen him and then find the next available safe place to pull over.
If there is no shoulder on the road then you should turn your hazards on to signal to the police officer that you are looking for a place to pull over and are not just ignoring him. You should continue driving until either a shoulder opens up or you can exit on to another spot that is safe to pull over. Basically you want to just find somewhere where you can pull over safely, the officer can pull over safely, and you can go about the traffic stop in a safe manner without risk of being hit by other cars on the road.
Once you are pulled over, you should roll down your window far enough to speak with the officer and be able to pass documents through it. Although you are not required to roll the window the entire way down, it is usually a good idea to show that you are not trying to cause any trouble or hiding something and that you are doing your best to be cooperative.
In addition to taking these steps, you want to avoid doing anything that is going to alarm the officer. They obviously will not know anything about you and so you do not want to do anything that makes the officer question their safety, this includes:
Otherwise, you should expect a traffic stop to be fairly fast, with the officer coming to your vehicle and telling you usually what you are charged with, issuing you the ticket and letting you go.
If you are pulled over at night, the area that is safer during the day might not feel as safe in the evening because of diminished light. So in this situation, it is okay to drive a little bit further to find a safe place to pull over and it is also okay to find an area that is more public and open with a lot of people such as a gas station.
When you are pulled over during a night time stop, the procedure is almost identical to that of a daytime stop. You should roll down your window enough to pass documents and communicate with the officer, and you should also keep in mind that since the officer is worried about his safety and you do not want to do anything that is suspicious, you can aid this by turning on the interior light of your vehicle.
This will show the officer that you are not trying to hide anything and it will keep them a little bit more comfortable because they can better see what you are doing. You should keep your hands on the steering wheel and avoid any sudden movements or reaching into any hidden areas of your vehicle without first asking them and telling them what you are doing.
The same goes for when you grab your registration, you should tell them that you are going to grab your registration to make sure that it is okay. You should still keep your car on just in case it does not start up again so that nobody is stuck on the side of the road.
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