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Gainesville Traffic Stop Attorney

What to Do if Pulled Over in Gainesville

People make many mistakes when they are pulled over and when they do, they face much harsher consequences than they would have otherwise. If you are pulled over, you should never become angry with the police officer, make sudden movements, or argue with the officer. All of these actions can lead to the police officer becoming angry, and possibly even treating you unfairly. So, what to do if pulled over in Gainesville? Our criminal defense attorney explains the five most important actions to take below.

What to Do if Pulled Over #1: Slow Down and Pull Over

Pulling over when you see the flashing lights behind you does not mean you are admitting you are guilty. It only means that you are complying with the law. If you are in an area with congested traffic, slow down and signal to where you intend to pull over. Pull over as far over to the curb as you can, so the officer does not have to step out into traffic.

Once you have pulled over, turn your vehicle off, roll down the window, and place both hands on the wheel. These steps will show that you are willing to cooperate as soon as the officer arrives.

What to Do if Pulled Over #2: Follow All Instructions

The officer will likely ask you for your driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance, even before they tell you why they pulled you over. You should provide this information, as all motorists are required to carry it when they are driving. If you need to go into the glove compartment or through a bag, inform the officer before you do. After you have given the documents to the officer, place your hands back on the steering wheel as they review them.

What to Do if Pulled Over #3: Remain Polite

Acting hostile towards the officer will only result in a number of issues that could have been avoided if you remained polite. Answer as many questions as you can, while remembering that anything you say can be used against you. While you can answer basic questions, you should not say more than what is asked. The officer should do most of the talking.

If the officer issues a citation, simply sign it. This does not admit you are guilty but rather, only acknowledges that you received it. You can dispute the citation in court at a later date, if necessary.

What to Do if Pulled Over #4: Know Your Rights

You do not have to consent to the police officer searching your car, and you do not have to comply with field sobriety tests. You do have to submit to a breath or other chemical test if you are asked, but the results can be challenged in the future. If the officer tries to search your car, you also should not try to stop them, even though you should not provide consent, either. Also remember that you are not legally obligated to answer the officer’s questions so if they start to ask something that sounds incriminating, it is best to remain silent.

What to Do if Pulled Over #5: Call a Gainesville Criminal Defense Attorney

A lot can happen in the moments and days after you are pulled over, and the help of a criminal defense attorney in Gainesville is an invaluable resource. At Meldon Law, we will advise on your case and ensure your rights are upheld at all times. Call us today at 800-373-8000 or contact us online to schedule a free case review.

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