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Things to do to avoid escalating a traffic stop

On Behalf of | Sep 21, 2020 | Traffic Tickets |

You are driving along in North Carolina, and the police indicate for you to pull over. What should you do? 

If the police signal you to stop, make sure you do. Failing to halt could lead to more severe charges or an accident if it turns into a chase. Remember, just because a police officer stops you does not mean they intend to charge you. It would be a shame to end up accused of a series of charges when the police officer’s original intention was to tell you to fix your brake light.

Here’s how to handle the situation:

  • You should switch off your engine and keep your hands on the wheel. Reaching for something in your glovebox could be misinterpreted. Do not attempt to get out of your vehicle unless told to do so.
  • Don’t apologize for anything you may think you’ve done wrong. There is no way of knowing why the police stopped you until they tell you themselves.
  • If the officer asks if you know why they pulled you over, tell them you don’t. Otherwise, you could find yourself with an additional charge to what the police initially had in mind.
  • Remain calm and stay polite. Nothing positive can come from a hostile interaction.

Seek legal help if you have been stopped by the North Carolina police and charged with a traffic offense. Depending on the charge, you could face a fine, points on your license, a ban, jail time, or be required to take a driving course. Your vehicle insurance will also increase for years to come, often by a significant amount. There are many ways to defend a simple traffic charge. However, if your actions made the charges against you worse, they will be harder to defend.