There are few things that can instill instant panic in someone the same way being pulled over by a police officer can. It can become immediately stressful and lead to paranoia over what you think you may or may not have done. However, depending on the situation, this could make matters worse for both you and the police officer. Perhaps the best approach when handling this type of situation is to understand that there is nothing to be afraid of if you did nothing wrong. There is a myriad of reasons why a police officer might pull you over, but that does not necessarily mean you are in any trouble, especially if you play your cards right. Although, if you were pulled over by law enforcement and are now facing criminal charges, do not hesitate to contact the experienced New Jersey criminal defense lawyers at The Vigilante Law Firm, P.C. for a consultation.
What are tips to know if I am pulled over by law enforcement?
First and foremost, the last thing you want to do when you are pulled over by law enforcement is panic. While this may seem difficult to do under those circumstances, it is important to remain calm throughout the process. Coming off as panicked could make a police officer think you have something to hide which will only make them more suspicious of you. Of course, this also means not doing anything unnecessary like taking your seatbelt off or getting out of your car. Unless they instruct you to do so, any unprompted action could come off as a threat to a police officer which can potentially escalate the situation into something far more serious.
It is important to know that when law enforcement pulls you over, it is always best to listen to them no matter what. This means letting them speak first and explain why exactly you are being pulled over. Speaking before the police officer says anything to you can make you look more suspicious, and it may even open you up to a different line of questioning. If you feel as though the reason why you were pulled over was wrong or unfair, that does not mean you should start an argument. A police officer could end up escalating the charge against you which could lead to severe consequences.
If it is the case that an officer pulled you over for violating the law, do not say anything that can further incriminate you. For example, if you were pulled over for speeding or driving under the influence, do not admit to the officer that you did so. However, if you were pulled over and are still facing charges, even after handling the situation correctly, make sure to get in touch with a criminal defense lawyer to help guide you on your next steps.