Things to Keep In Mind When Getting Pulled Over

Have you ever felt the pang of anxiety in your chest when a police car pulls up behind you? The lights aren’t on, and you know that you haven’t done anything wrong, but for some reason their very presence causes discomfort. Law enforcement leverages people’s respect for the law (or tacit intimidation) to their advantage during a DWI stop in an effort to get drivers to incriminate themselves. If you’re pulled over, remain calm and follow these steps.

Pull Over as Soon as Possible

This seems somewhat obvious, but sometimes it takes a minute or two to find a safe and well-lit location to pull over. You cannot control the way law enforcement will interpret your actions, but signaling with lights or hand motions that you acknowledge their presence and intend to pull over will communicate your willingness to cooperate. This may also increase your chances that they will not attempt to claim that you were evading the police while you were looking for a safe place to stop.  

Stay Calm

Turn off your engine and remain calm. You may need to get your license and registration prepared ahead of time, but don’t assume that you need to give it freely. Roll down your window enough to communicate clearly with law enforcement. When the officer approaches you, keep your hands visible on the steering wheel at all times. If you like, you may start recording the interaction on your phone and place it on your dashboard or cupholder. Law enforcement in Texas has no expectation of privacy, so it is legal to record without their explicit consent.

Use Your Right To Remain Silent

This is easily the most important step when interacting with law enforcement of any kind. You may comply with simple requests such as showing them your driver’s license, registration, and insurance, but you should never answer any unnecessary questions. Try to remain polite with the officer even if they become agitated by your refusal to answer questions. They may ask questions to find out where you are going, where you’ve been, and whether you’ve had anything to drink or not, but you do not have to answer any of these questions. A simple statement of “I will only answer questions with a lawyer present,” should be sufficient. If the officer persists, you may also ask them “Am I free to go?” Even if law enforcement believes they have evidence against you, they need to work for it. They cannot force you to do a field sobriety test or a breathalyzer and must obtain a warrant to test your Blood Alcohol Content.

Call Your Attorney

If you are detained for any reason, continue to remain silent. Call your attorney at the earliest opportunity, and only respond to police inquiry with the request for legal counsel. For your convenience, you can contact the Law Office of Kevin B. Ross, PC by calling (214) 833-9414 for immediate assistance. If you or someone you love is facing criminal charges and would like a consultation, you may also contact us online.

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Law Office of Kevin B. Ross, P.C.

Texas criminal defense attorneys Kevin B. Ross and Kristen Beckman bring a team approach to the Law Office of Kevin B. Ross, P.C., a Dallas criminal defense law firm that provides PROFESSIONAL, PERSONAL, and PROVEN representation to people in Texas who are accused of state and federal criminal offenses. We believe everyone deserves the strongest and most effective defense possible. The firm represents clients across Texas who are charged with crimes ranging from federal white-collar crimes to state drug charges, DWIs to murder, and everything in between.

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