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Your Field Guide to Surviving a Traffic Stop Unscathed

Last updated 6 years ago

No one likes seeing the flashing blue lights behind them when they’re driving—how you act during a traffic stop could mean the difference between getting off with a warning and needing to call a bail bondsman from the county jail. Here’s what you need to know about making it through a traffic stop as easily as possible:

Be Calm and Polite

Arguing with a police officer during a traffic stop will get you nowhere. Be courteous to the officer, even if you feel he’s not being courteous back to you. Provide him with the information he requests, like your driver’s license, insurance card, and registration. You are required by law to present these documents. If you refuse, you’re giving the officer a reason to take you to jail. As a general rule, it’s wise not to reach for these documents or anything else until you’re directed to do so by the officer.

Don’t Admit Guilt

An officer might ask you if you know why you were stopped, but even if you do know, the Fifth Amendment says you don’t have to admit it. You have a right against self-incrimination. However, you don’t have to go out of your way to say you know your rights and that you don’t have to say anything. The officer may find this behavior antagonistic. Instead, simply say that you don’t know why you were stopped.

Know Your Rights Regarding Searches

If an officer spots an illegal item in plain view in your car, he is legally allowed to search your vehicle. This is called the Plain View Doctrine. If no such thing is in plain view, you are not obligated to submit to a search. If an officer persists in asking if he can search your vehicle, simply ask him whether you are free to go. If he has no grounds for detaining or searching you, this will end the encounter. If he decides to detain you, this is the time to ask for a lawyer.

A good attitude goes a long way in a traffic stop, but if things do go wrong, call 24 Seven Bail Bonds. Our professional bail bondsmen will have you out of jail fast, and we will help you navigate the confusing legal system up to your trial date. For speedy, courteous bail services, call us at (732) 418-2245.


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