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How to appropriately interact with the police

On Behalf of | Mar 31, 2021 | Criminal Defense

It’s not uncommon to feel anxious when you see a police car while traveling on an Oklahoma highway. It’s also not uncommon to feel a slight sense of dread when you realize that such a vehicle is following your car and has its lights on. However, as long as you stay calm, there is a good chance that you’ll be able to get through a traffic stop without incident.

Keep your hands where the officer can see them

Keeping your hands on the steering wheel may be the easiest way to put an officer at ease as he or she approaches your car. If you have any passengers in the vehicle with you, make sure that they keep their hands on the dashboard unless instructed otherwise. At some point, the officer will likely ask to see your license, registration and insurance information. It’s generally in your best interest to move slowly when reaching into your pocket, center console or other compartment for these documents.

Don’t get out of the car unless instructed to do so

Getting out of the car without being prompted to do so could be seen as a suspicious behavior on your part. This is because the person who has conducted the traffic stop doesn’t know if you’re planning to run, use force against that individual or take other potentially negative actions. Therefore, you can prevent a traffic stop from escalating by just staying where you are and awaiting further commands.

Ask for an attorney

If you are taken into custody, you have the right to ask for a criminal law attorney. Generally speaking, an officer must refrain from asking any questions after such a request is made. It’s important to note that you don’t have to talk to authorities at any point during a traffic stop.

While it may be unnerving to be the subject of a traffic stop, there is no guarantee that you’ll be charged with a crime. However, if you are, an attorney may be able to help you obtain a favorable outcome in your case.