Mistakes to Avoid During a Virginia Traffic Stop 

Virginia traffic stops can be intimidating. Even though having to deal with law enforcement can be scary, there are certain mistakes to avoid during a Virginia traffic stop that can make the process run a little more smoothly. Little things like being polite and not making sudden movements, can make a major difference in your Virginia traffic case. If you have been pulled over for a traffic infraction, get in touch with a qualified traffic attorney who can work to dispute the charges you face.

Expectations of a Traffic Stop

A traffic stop should be brief; it should be just a temporary detainment while the officer determines whether a traffic offense occurred. The officer should not try to extend the time. If the driver feels like the officer is trying to prolong the process unnecessarily, they should mention that to their lawyers.

All officers should have a badge. Even undercover police officers should have a badge on their person. The driver should ask to see the officer’s badge if they are in an unmarked vehicle or in plain clothes. The officer usually greets the driver and makes an introduction; however, if that does not take place, the person can ask for the officer’s name. Another indication of a law enforcement call is that the vehicle has emergency lights. Even undercover police cars have emergency lights like a regular police patrol car. The lights should be on and the officer should be carrying a badge. Should there be any doubt, the person can ask the officer to provide their registered badge number.

A person does not have to answer questions that might confirm any suspicion of a traffic offense such as speeding, running a red light, failure to stop at a stop sign, DUI and DWI. Any questions that go towards giving incriminating information, the driver should not answer. They should politely say, “I’m sorry officer I would not be able to answer” or “I do not have any answer for you at this point.”

Safety Concerns

Mistakes to avoid during a Virginia traffic stop include being rude to officers, cutting them off before they finish their questions, arguing too much, hiding their hands, and contradicting the facts. There are two issues, one is that being polite and cooperative with officers is crucial and the second one is safety concerns.

The driver should keep their hands visible and do not give the officer any indication that they are trying to hide something or grab a weapon or a gun. They should also avoid lying to the officer. Whenever somebody is stopped by a law enforcement officer, the best place to air their grievances is at the trial. Defenses and explanations take place in court, not with the officer at the scene.

Being Rude to Officers

One of the mistakes to avoid during a Virginia traffic stop is being rude. Drivers should avoid being rude, impatient, or impolite. Showing impatience or anger does not solve the issue.  A driver should avoid doing anything that looks threatening to the officer such as waving out the window, leaning out the window, or shouting at the officer. They should avoid being rude. The judges and Commonwealth attorneys take into consideration whether a person was polite and cooperative when they were stopped by the law enforcement officer. The driver should be polite and cooperative within their means, they should answer questions about their identity if they are entitled to drive the car, and provide the officer with proof of registration, insurance, and identification. Law enforcement officers can ask questions; however, a driver does not have to answer incriminating questions.

Value of an Attorney

While traffic stops are a common occurrence, it can make sense to feel a little nervous about the stop. In order to make sure your stop runs smoothly, there are certain mistakes to avoid during a Virginia traffic stop. If you have been stopped by law enforcement, get in touch with a qualified attorney who can advise you on what to do, and can help you challenge your ticket.