Richmond Speeding Traffic Stops
During a traffic stop in Richmond, you should expect that the officer will approach your vehicle. The officer will ask for your license, proof of insurance and registration. If you cannot produce these items, the officer will cite you for failure to have them. Because receiving a traffic citation can impact your driving record, it is important that you fully understand the implications of a traffic stop. A Richmond speeding ticket lawyer will be able to inform you of your rights and the procedures involved in dealing with a traffic violation.
What to do When Pulled Over in Richmond
If you hear sirens or see lights in your rearview mirror, the first thing you should do is pull over to the nearest safe spot. If there is no shoulder when you are instructed to pull over, you should pull over in the first safe, well-lit area possible. This can either be a parking lot or a part of the Richmond highway where there are side road lines. The best way to let an officer know that you are looking for a safe place to pull over is to turn on your emergency signals so that the officer knows that you see him or her and are planning to stop.
Once you are pulled over, you should get out your license, registration, and proof of insurance. You should roll down your window, and as you do so, you should avoid moving around too much and keep your hands where the officer can see them. You should also turn your car off after you have pulled over. Never exit the vehicle unless the officer asks you to do so. Typically, once you hand over your license and registration, the officer will go back to his or her vehicle to review your record and make sure that there are no outstanding warrants or anything of that nature. Then he or she will begin writing up the ticket.
When Pulled Over at Night
The only differences between a daytime and a nighttime stop are the following:
If you are pulled over at night in Richmond, the best thing to do is to put on your emergency signals, get into the right lane, and slow down significantly. Typically, that will signal the officer that you are attempting to find a safe spot to pull over. You should also turn on your interior lights.
Answering a Richmond Police Officer’s Questions
In many cases, the Richmond officer will ask if you know why you were pulled over and what the violation was. You do not have to answer all of the officer’s questions. The only questions you are required to answer are those regarding your identification. In other words, you are required to advise the officer about who you are and to provide proof of identification and insurance. If the officer asks you if you knew you were speeding, you do not have to answer the question and should contact a speeding ticket attorney in Richmond as soon as possible.
What to Ask the Officer
One of the things you can ask the officer when you are pulled over is why you were pulled over. You should always be polite and cooperative when speaking with officers, but it is perfectly reasonable to ask why you were pulled over. One of the things you want to do when you receive a ticket from a Richmond officer is determine if you are required to appear in court.
Ensure that all of your information— mailing address and other personal information—is correct on the ticket. Furthermore, you want to make sure that you understand exactly what you are charged with. During a Richmond traffic stop, an officer may ask you about where you were going or where you were coming from. Officers may also ask to search your vehicle, which you do not have to consent to.
When Pulled Over by Unmarked Vehicle
If you are pulled over by an unmarked vehicle or an officer who is not in uniform while in Richmond, it is still always best to pull over into a well-lit area just as you would for an officer driving a marked police vehicle. Then you can ask the officer to provide documentation such as his or her badge number.
Biggest Mistakes to Avoid During a Richmond Traffic Stop
One of the biggest mistakes to avoid during a Richmond traffic stop is to argue with the officer about the stop. Let your Richmond speeding ticket attorney argue about why you were pulled over in court. You do not want to have an argument with an officer on the street as it will only aggravate the issue. In addition to that, you should never get out of your vehicle unless the officer asks you to do so. Getting out of the vehicle is routinely seen as a sign of hostility by officers and will immediately put them on the defensive.