Understanding Your Traffic Stop Rights

What If I Don’t Think A Police Officer is Pulling Me Over?

From time to time, a client will be concerned that the vehicle attempting to pull them is not a police officer. In most cases, there is a single occupant of the vehicle and it is relatively late at night. These conditions can make drivers apprehensive and concerned for their safety. To prepare for difficult situations like this, it’s important to know and understand your traffic stop rights.

For traffic stops, the officer decides whether or not you are attempting to run or elude the situation. If there is concern or risk, the officer will also likely consider calling for backup. The additional officers are there to assist with a potential situation. Adding law enforcement presence to a traditional stop adds stress to the encounter for all parties involved.

Evaluate the Situation

Each situation is unique, and it is helpful to consider these questions when determining whether or not to stop:

  • Am I traveling in an unfamiliar area of road or location?
  • Is the area where I noticed the law enforcement officer well lit /regularly travelled?
  • Is it possible that I missed a traffic sign or law that could have brought my vehicle into attention?
  • Can I pull over safely and near where the officer first engaged their lights?

If you can answer yes to any or all of these questions; consider stopping for the officer.

Communicate Your Concern

If you have serious concerns about the authenticity of the individual pulling you over, we recommend calling 911 and putting your emergency hazard lights on. These two communication efforts can have a big impact on a stressful situation. Using emergency hazards on will signal to the officer that you see him. Next, the 911 dispatcher can verify that it is in fact a police officer who is pulling you over. These two communication tips can calm the situation and reduce the stress levels of both yourself and the officer involved. Lastly, the officer can then explain the reason for the stop and you can work through the information needed to complete the situation peacefully.

Recommended Reading : ACLU Know Your Rights

Mattox Law has extensive experience representing individuals charged with a wide variety of traffic violations. Our firm has represented thousands of clients facing traffic violations. Trey has successfully defended these cases providing results in nearly every instance that avoid a conviction for the traffic misdemeanor or infraction alleged. If you need help understanding a traffic stop, contact Mattox Law today.