What to Expect At An Arlington Traffic Stop

What are you expected to do when an officer is flashing sirens and trying to pull you over? We explain some of the basic traffic rules for how to pull over for an officer in Arlington. An Arlington traffic lawyer discusses. For more information call and schedule a consultation today.

Generally Speaking, What Should Someone Expect At A Traffic Stop In Arlington?

If you get stopped for speeding, reckless driving, or any other traffic offense in Arlington, you should expect the following:

  • The officer will pull you over
  • He or she will approach the vehicle
  • They will typically ask for your license and registration, although they don’t have to
  • They will then probably ask you things to get you to make incriminating statements such as whether you knew how fast you were going, or if you knew what the speed limit was around the area
  • They will then go back to their vehicle, run your license, perhaps run your registration to ensure the car is not stolen, come back to the car and speak to you again, and most likely will eventually issue you a traffic summons

They will not arrest you for a traffic offense in the sense that they will not bring you back to the police station, unless they think that you will fail to obey the summons, meaning you won’t sign the summons, or if you have a warrant for your arrest, for some other outstanding charges, or if they believe you’re intoxicated in which case you could be charged with driving under the influence. Otherwise, you will be released upon signing the summons that says you promise to appear on a certain date. Then, the police will let you go and you’ll be on your way.

When You See Sirens In Your Rearview Mirror, What Should You Do?

You should pullover immediately. Speeding up or trying to elude the police can be charged as another crime. It can even be a felony if you elude and cause danger to someone else on the road. So, the best possible thing you can do once you see sirens and the lights have been activated or even see just the lights alone is to pull over to the side of the road and be cooperative with the police. That does not mean that you have to make statements that are not in your interest, but be polite and cooperative because there are other charges that can be brought if you fight, resist, elude, or try to get away from the police.

That behavior can also be used to show a  “consciousness of guilt”, meaning that if the police puts their lights on and you speed away, the court can infer that you think you did something wrong. So, at that point, once the police have made the decision to pull you over, you’re not going to win that interaction, so you should comply. Pull over immediately. Be polite. Be courteous, but don’t make any statements against your interest.

How Can You Let The Officer Know You’re Looking For a Safe Place To Pull Over?

You can let the officer know you’re looking for a safe place to pull over either by putting on your hazard lights or by trying to pull over to the first possible spot. The police will be able to observe your driving behavior. It’s a good sign to them if you’re not picking up speed and if you put your signal on and you slow down.  Obey any police instruction that may come over the loud speaker and police will assume that you’re doing the right thing.

Police become concerned if you are speeding up, making numerous turns, not pulling over at the first possible area. So, just follow the instructions. And if they’re not instructing you, slow down, put your signal on, and pull over as close and as soon as possible.

What About At Night?

Try to pullover in a well-lit area if it’s nighttime, but still be aware that police are watching for any signals that you aren’t going to be cooperative. In general, your safety will be protected because the area will be well-lit by the police. I would recommend still trying to pullover in the first possible spot because if you don’t they police could assume you are attempting to elude them and that could be bad both on the street and in court. And in fact, they can charge you with eluding, even when you are merely just trying to find a safe place to pull over.

So, still try to pullover the first available area but of course lookout for your own safety, and the safety of the other cars on the road, and try to pullover in safe manner.

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