Richmond Reckless Driving Stops
The following is a step by step guide on what you can expect if pulled over by law enforcement in Virginia. To begin building a defense for your charge call and schedule a consultation with a Richmond reckless driving lawyer today.
The Initial Stop
When you are driving in Richmond, Virginia and see sirens in your rear-view mirror, the first thing you should do is slow down. If the officer stays behind you to pull you over, you should pull over to a safe area, either a shoulder or a parking lot. If there is no shoulder or nearby parking lot to pull over, we recommend slowing down, putting on the emergency lights and then pulling over at the nearest safe area.
If you’re pulled over at night, we typically recommend that you try and park or pull over into a well-lit area. Most of the time, the officers will understand this and not try and force you to pull over sooner. We typically recommend looking for a well-lit shoulder or parking lot to pull over.
Things To Avoid
One of the main things to avoid is getting out of the car. The officers will often ask you to stay in your vehicle at all times. You also want to avoid undoing your seat belt and shuffling around the car or grabbing stuff in the backseat. You want to just try and stay in control of your movements and keep your movements so that the officer can observe them.
If you’re pulled over at a nighttime stop, we recommend turning off the vehicle and rolling down your window. It’s also best to turn on an interior light and then locate your license and registration. You should not get out of the car nor shuffle around. You want to keep in mind, particularly at nighttime, to keep your hands in sight and have your registration and license in your hand. It’s best to keep your hands on the steering wheel.
Interacting With Richmond Police
When a Richmond officer approaches your vehicle, the officer will ask you for your license and registration. The officer will advise you what you’ve been pulled over for, ask why you violated the law or if you’re aware that you had. The officer will usually follow up with some questions about where you’re going or where you’re coming from.
The only information you have to provide is your identifying information. You don’t have to answer any follow up questions of the officer. No matter questions you choose to answer or not answer we always recommend you be polite.
Is There Anything You Should Ask The Officer?
You can ask several questions when you’re pulled over in Richmond. You can ask the officer why you were pulled you over, about the particular charge and if you must appear in court. We always recommend that throughout your interactions with the officer that you are polite and cooperative. Do not argue your case on the side of the road, let a lawyer do that for you in court.
Should You Exit Your Car?
At no time should you exit your vehicle unless the officer asks you to. That’s one of the most common mistakes we see, and it usually creates a lot of friction between an individual and the officer. The one thing we always tell individuals is to stay in their vehicle unless directed otherwise by the officer.
Receiving The Ticket
Typically, the officer will go back to his or her vehicle and check your information and your driving record to make sure everything is up to date and there’s no pending warrants or suspensions. The officer will either write you a ticket or give you a warning, and then provide you with the appropriate documentation.
When you get the ticket, it’s always best to verify the information on the ticket at the stop. You want to verify the time of the court date and where the court is. You also want to verify if you need to appear in Richmond court. The officer will usually note this on the ticket and also answer these questions for you.
Being Pulled Over By An Unmarked Vehicle
If you’re pulled over by an unmarked vehicle, it’s always best to ask for identifying information from the officer. You can ask for the officer’s name and badge number. If they refuse to provide that, in some cases it’s best to call 911 or someone to verify the information. In most of these cases, the officers are very willing to provide their badge information, name, and any identifying information they have.