Process of a Mecklenburg Traffic Stop 

Being stopped by an officer while driving can be quite confusing. You might be wondering what you have done wrong and what the appropriate next steps are. If you have been stopped by an officer, you might also find yourself wondering what the protocol is, and how to interact with law enforcement. The process of a Mecklenburg traffic stop is pretty straightforward and by following proper protocol, you can avoid escalating the situation. If you want more information, reach out to a lawyer familiar with Mecklenburg traffic laws and the process of a traffic stop.

Traffic Stop Protocol

The law enforcement vehicle comes back behind the client’s vehicle and they should be able to see a number of lights. This vehicle can be marked or unmarked but if they are on large, they are going to give them a tremendous amount of light. It is apparent to law enforcement to pull over somewhere safe for both of the driver and the law enforcement officer far enough off the road that the person is not in danger of being hit by moving traffic.

The law enforcement officer is going to approach the vehicle. There could be more than one officer. They can approach on the driver’s side and the passenger side as well. Generally, the officer will tell a person if the officer wants the driver to turn their car off. They are going to be looking for an individual’s license and registration.  At that point, it could get into discussions about why they have been pulled over and asked if there is any reason for whatever behavior they are accusing them of. An individual does not want to make any statements admitting any kind of guilt or admission of driving behavior.

They should expect to be told why they were pulled over and for the officer to request their license and registration to make sure that they are validly licensed to see what kind of driver they are and make sure that the vehicle wasn’t stolen or to make sure there aren’t any other red flags. A person should hand over their license and registration, wait for those to be run and at that point, it will be within the officer’s discretion either to issue a warning or give a written summons. That generally ends the interaction when they tell them whether or not they have to appear in court unless they refuse to sign the summons at which point they are going to be taken in front of the magistrate to ensure their appearance. The protocol is the same during a nighttime stop.

Written Summons

During the process of a Mecklenburg traffic stop, a written summons is given. It should include the information where the offense occurred, when the offense occurred, giving the client’s information on where the courthouses are to pay the ticket, to contest the ticket, and to call and ask questions in advance to the court date. It should include the court date. It should tell a person what they are charged with and give the relevant statute and generally, the officers will testify if they are being ticketed with something that can be prepaid or if they are being ticketed with the type of charge that requires that they go to court.

What Drivers Should Do When Stopped

If there is a shoulder, drivers should pull over to the shoulder as soon as possible. If there is no shoulder, drivers should slow down considerably so that they can allow the law enforcement vehicle to stay close behind them while they travel far enough to find somewhere safe to pull over with enough pace for both of them to get their entire vehicle off the road and allow law enforcement to get their vehicle off the road and have enough room to stand at the window and communicate without being in danger.

Once a driver has been pulled over during a daytime stop, they should roll down their window enough so that they can communicate with the officer and they can pass their license and registration back and forth. Some people keep their registration in the middle compartment, so they are going to have to shuffle around the vehicle. If a person has to reach across his or her vehicle and get it into a glove compartment, they may want to wait until the officer gets to the window before reaching for it. The driver should roll down their window when the officer is walking towards the vehicle. During the process of a Mecklenburg traffic stop, drivers want to avoid being rude to the officer and avoid being uncooperative, and making sudden movements or furtive gestures while waiting for law enforcement to walk up to the vehicle.

Importance of a Traffic Lawyer

Besides demystifying the process of a Mecklenburg traffic stop, an experienced traffic lawyer can answer any other questions you have. If a routine traffic stop escalates or becomes something more serious, an attorney can provide effective legal counsel and make sure your rights are being protected.