WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE STOPPED BY THE POLICE:

(The following is not intended to be nor understood as legal advice)

– Flashing Lights Are Behind You

First, always pull to the right hand lane or shoulder, even if you must work across several lanes of traffic. Just because a police officer is lighting you up does not mean that they are pulling you over. Give them every chance to pass you by. If they follow you, then you will know. Second, failing to move to the right on the approach of an emergency vehicle (Police, Fire, Ambulance, etc…) can net you a fine of $1062.

– Once You Have Been Stopped

Do Nothing. Do not release your seat belt until the officer has come up to the window and seen that you were wearing it. We have had many clients who have received a No Seat Belt ticket in addition to their other violation because the officer did not see that they had their seat belt on.

Do not reach into your glove box or center console, dig in your purse or bag, or for your wallet before the officer comes to your window. Remember that the officer does not know you or if you are a tweaker on meth or just someone on their way to the store for milk.

The best thing to do is to roll down your window and sit quietly with your hands on top of the steering wheel until the officer has had time to come to your window and assess you. If they ask for your drivers license, registration or insurance paperwork, tell them where you are reaching to before you do so.

– Interacting With The Officer

The number one rule is to be polite and cooperative. Keep in mind that the officer is just doing their job and that this is not personal. The officer does have a legal right to pull you over if they believe that you have committed a violation. Being argumentative or condescending is not going to benefit you; in fact possibly quite the contrary.

HOW WE CAN HELP YOU:

Speeding Tickets

Commercial Drivers

Stop Lights

Collisions

Intermediate License

Violations

Driving with License

Suspended

Negligent Driving

 

  • How we can help you with a traffic ticket?

    The cost of a speeding ticket may run far more than the fine. A single speeding ticket may cause your insurance to increase by hundreds to thousands of dollars over the time the ticket appears on your record. And another ticket in that time may multiply the effect. Due to our knowledge of the law and the courts, we have gotten thousands of tickets dismissed outright for our clients. If unable to achieve an outright dismissal, we also negotiate reductions that keep the tickets from your driving record even though you have to still pay a fine.

  • How we can help you with your Commercial Drivers License?

    Commercial drivers know that a single ticket can result in not just a fine and insurance increase, but in unemployment. Commercial drivers are also held to a higher standard than non-commercial drivers, even when driving the family car. We may be able to advise you on the best way to keep a citation from impacting your CDL, we may be able to negotiate on your behalf, and ideally, we will get your ticket dismissed.

  • How we can help you with an Intermediate license?

    Learning to drive is an activity with a steep learning curve and possible dire consequences for mistakes. Experience can only be gained by actually driving on the public roads. For both reasons new younger drivers are kept on a very short leash while learning this complex activity; two tickets can result in the revocation of the privilege to drive. We can help your teenager through his learning curve and become a safe and experienced driver.

  • I have gotten a ticket. What do I do now?

    You typically have two weeks to return your ticket to the presiding court, longer if the ticket was mailed to you. It will say on the ticket how long that you have, and the date it was issued is the start date. On the ticket you can chose an option to pay for it, or mitigate (give reasons to reduce the fine). In both instances the violation will go on your driving record. If you select “Contest” you will be sent a court date and offered an opportunity to challenge the ticket. You can change your mind later and just pay for the ticket at any time up to the hearing date without additional cost. If short of time you can always select the last option without losing the first two. If possible, though, you should try and contact your friendly neighborhood traffic attorney before then deadline, or shortly afterward in you must. If we are to have a chance of successfully challenging your charge, we have other court deadlines that we must also meet.

  • (206) 816-9110 AAW@tonyweberlaw.com

It will be more productive for you to be polite and non-argumentative even if you disagree with the officer’s stated reasons for the stop, or feel that it may be personal. You are not going to win your case sitting by the side of the road. If you are polite and non-confrontational, an officer may decide to reduce the amount over the speed limit that they charge you with, reducing your fine and any potential insurance impact, or may decide to warn you instead of cite you for other violations. For example, a tail light being out, expired vehicle tabs, or an unsigned registration. Do not ask them to do this, or try and talk your way out of a ticket as you are more likely to make admissions that can later be used against you. Law Enforcement is under pressure to increase the number tickets they issue; if an officer has pulled you over, assume from the beginning that you are going to get a ticket. Just do not give them reason to pile on any additional violations that they might otherwise choose to overlook.

Which does not mean that the officer is your friend. Anything that you say to the officer that can be used against you will find its way into the report that will be submitted to the judge. You do have the right not to answer their questions, within reason. A polite and non-committal “not sure” is sufficient. If you are asked if you know why they stopped you, any answer other than “No” may be construed as an admission to a knowing violation. Admissions as to what your speed was or the posted speed limit will be used against you if your admitted speed is higher than the posted limit, or you are mistaken about what that limit is. Never say anything about being in a hurry, or late for something, or tired. If you have been in an auto accident, do not try and explain what happened, as admissions will be used against you. Barring cases involving a death or major injury, accidents are usually very quickly investigated.

An officer may also have pulled you over for reasons incidental to a traffic violation; for example, to determine if you are driving under the influence. If the officer determines that they cannot cite you for a criminal violation, then you want them to cite you for your infraction if any and let you go, if that is what they are going to do. If you wish to know more you need to consult with an attorney who practices DUI law.

Do not tell the officer that you are acting under the advice of an attorney. Do not tell them “My attorney will get this thrown out.” First because these statements will also find their way into the officer’s report submitted to the judge with the inference that they are admissions. Second: why tell the officer in advance that you intend on having someone who is an expert at finding any errors or omissions by the officer review their work?