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Secrets of the Texas Criminal Justice System and Your Rights
Lubbock traffic stops can be a stressful experience to undergo. Dealing with law enforcement can be overwhelming regardless of whether you have committed a traffic offense or not. However, knowing what to expect at a traffic stop, and what your rights during a stop are, can help alleviate some of the stress that comes with being stopped by law enforcement. If you have been pulled over for a traffic stop and charged with a traffic violation, get in touch with a skilled traffic attorney who can fight for you.
Expectations at a Traffic Stop
It is very likely that there will be two officers in the patrol vehicle and that they both get out and approach an individual’s car. They will commonly ask the person questions about where they were going.They ask typical questions that seem innocuous but they are phishing for information and are looking to see if somebody can pay attention to answering questions at the same time they are looking for their driver’s license. If this person seems really nervous in responding or is avoiding eye contact, they will notice. When somebody is nervous or eluding eye contact it makes an officer suspicious that something else is going on.
What to Do If When Hearing Sirens
If a driver hears sirens, they should put their blinkers on immediately. That at least shows the officer they acknowledge the officer. And then they should pull over to the first safe place they can stop. They should not pull over to the middle of the road, that will be suspicious to the officers. Pull over to the side of the road or into a parking lot or in a driveway. That is probably safer and the officer would appreciate that.
The officer does not want a person to stop in the middle of a lane or where traffic is heavy. A person should keep driving until there comes a shoulder or turn-off for that person to get into. If there is no shoulder a driver can let the officer know that they are looking for a safe place to pull over by turning on the blinker, and slowing down. That way the officer can tell that they are looking for a safe place to park.
Protocol During a Traffic Stop
Once the person finds a place to pull over, they should do so. Then the driver should wait, stay in their car and keep their hands on the wheel where the officer can see them. It makes an officer nervous if a person’s hands disappear and they do not know what that person is reaching for. It is important to stay in the car and when the officer comes up to the window to then find the driver’s license and insurance for them.
The driver can roll down their window when the officer approaches. Once the officer approaches the car and asks the person for their license and registration, the driver should feel free to do so. If the officer requests that they turn off the car, they should do that as well. During Lubbock traffic stops, a driver should only exit the vehicle if the officer asks them to. If that person exits the vehicle immediately after the stop, that usually makes the officer feel nervous and suspicious.
The officer is probably going to request the individual’s driver’s license and insurance and they are going to start asking that person questions about where they are coming from, where they are going and who else is in the car. Passengers will probably have to show a form of ID to look for who is wearing a seat belt and then once they get all the forms of ID, the officer will probably go back to their patrol vehicle and run all the driver’s licenses and insurance through the system to verify that none of the people in the car have warrants.
Speaking With Law Enforcement
Officers will also often ask people to answer specific questions during Lubbock traffic stops. Some of these questions include where the person is coming from, where is that person going, what is that person’s business in town today, stuff like that. People do not have to answer a police officer’s questions if they do not want to, however, if a person does not talk to them then it is going to seem suspicious.
If the officer asks a driver if they were aware they were speeding, the driver’s response depends on the police officer. Sometimes, if a person is very apologetic and contrite, they can sometimes avoid a ticket just and receive a warning. However, people should be careful not to overshare, or to be to eager to speak, in case they end up accidentally incriminating themselves.
Mistakes to Avoid
One of the things a person should avoid doing during Lubbock traffic stops is moving things around in their car. The officer will be suspicious if they appear to be hiding their hands or something under a car seat. If a person pulls over and rolls all of the windows down, that will probably look suspicious to the officer. Furthermore, it is important individuals do not get hostile with the officer. It is also important that an individual avoid incriminating themselves, and that they get in touch with a qualified attorney who can defend them if they are charged with a traffic violation.