You’re driving down the road in Washington, D.C., when you see police lights in your mirror. You hope the officer is going after someone else, but you’re concerned that you may be the target.
If you see flashing police lights, turn on your hazard lights and safely pull to the side of the road. Even if the officer doesn’t pull you over, it’s the safe thing to do.
From there, take the following steps:
- Roll down your window: Once you stop your vehicle, roll down your window and keep your hands on the steering wheel. The officer will tell you what to do next, so all you have to do is follow directions.
- Remain polite: As frustrated as you may be, remain polite and respectful at all times. Talking back or becoming aggressive will only make things worse, as it could result in additional criminal charges.
- Hand over the requested information: This typically includes license, registration and insurance card. Knowing where to find this information in your vehicle will make the process much less stressful.
- Answer with honesty: Don’t say anything to implicate yourself, but stick with the facts when speaking with the officer. Making up a story, such as telling the officer you were speeding to see someone in the hospital, isn’t likely to work.
- Ask questions: If you receive a citation, ask questions to clarify what went wrong. The officer should be able to explain everything from why they pulled you over to your legal rights moving forward.
It’s frustrating to find yourself pulled over by police, as you know it can affect your life in many ways.
For example, if you’re a repeat offender, another citation could result in a larger fine and a license suspension. It can also cause your insurance premium to skyrocket.
Before you sign your ticket and make payment, learn more about your legal rights and potential defense strategies. You may find that going to court is the best way to minimize the impact of the citation on your life.
Even if you broke the law, you have legal rights that you need to protect every step of the way.