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What not to say during a traffic stop

Traffic stops can be less than pleasant, that much is for sure. During these times where police officers may fear for their lives over the potential of being assaulted, it is even more important to know what to say (and what not to say) when an officer approaches your window.

Indeed, most people are stopped only a few times in their driving lives. So they may not realize that some of the basic questions an officer may ask, such as where you are going, where you have been and whether you have been drinking, could have longstanding legal implications.

With that, this post will highlight a couple helpful things to consider if you are stopped by the police. Most importantly, the following is not legal advice and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.

Don’t make any admissions – If there is anything that you shouldn’t say, you should not admit anything to the officer regarding your conduct. Indeed, you may be asked if you knew how fast you were going, or whether you know why the officer stopped you. But keep in mind that these questions are likely framed to give the officer probable cause to either cite you or to ask you to step out of your vehicle.

Be polite – As we noted earlier, getting stopped by the police is not always a pleasant experience. However, being rude and spiteful towards an officer may not make things easier. After all, tensions escalate when harsh words go back and forth. And as we have seen recently, some officers may not be well-versed in de-escalating tough situations.

If you have further questions about what can and cannot get you in trouble, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney.

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