Chesterfield DUI Traffic Stops: Mistakes to Avoid

The biggest mistake to avoid during a Chesterfield traffic stop is to become confrontational with the officer. Arguing with the officer is not going to benefit a person’s case. It will routinely just exacerbate the issue. Chesterfield DUI lawyers will routinely advise their clients that they should not try and argue with law enforcement. Instead, they should leave any conflicts between the law and their defense to their attorney, who has experience and resources to make a sound argument.

When Speaking to Chesterfield Police Officers

When the officer approaches the vehicle, DUI lawyers who have practiced in Chesterfield will always recommend putting your hands where the officers can see them. The best place to keep your hands is on the steering wheel.

Once a police officer only questions that you are required to answer are those involving your identification. In other words: who you are, your license number, and your registration. You’re not required to answer other questions about where you’re going or who you’re with, and things of that nature. Typically, an officer will ask you if you know why they stopped you or if you knew you were speeding. You answer is really not as important as people think. With the speeding and/or a reckless driving charge, they are not required to show intent so whether you knew you were speeding or not is irrelevant to the officer’s ability to make a conviction.

Another thing that occurs during a DUI traffic stop is the officers will typically ask you about your vehicle. They may ask about registrations, citations, and things of that nature. If it is an issue where the officer suspects DUI, they will ask you about alcohol consumption and will ask you to perform field sobriety tests.

Exiting Your Vehicle

One of the biggest mistakes individuals often make is exiting their vehicle after they’ve been pulled over by police officers. Again, you should stay in your vehicle at all times if stopped by an officer. You should only exit the vehicle if you’re directed to do so.

Giving Police Your License and Registration

Once you’ve given the officer your information, typically the officer will go back to their car to confirm the information and/or to write up any citation that they may be giving you. Typically this can take anywhere from a few minutes to twenty minutes depending on how many citations there are or what the citation is. In addition, if there’s an issue regarding alcohol or suspected alcohol, the officer may ask you to step out of the vehicle to conduct the number of tests.

What to Ask an Officer

One of the things you can ask the officer why he or she pulled you over. In addition to that, one of the things you can routinely ask, if the case were speeding, for instance, is how the police officer determined your speed. You can also ask for the officer’s name and badge number if you are unsure of who they are.

The first thing you need to do if you’re stopped by an officer and receive a citation is to determine exactly what the court date is and exactly what you’re charged with. The main thing to confirm is what the officer has charged you with, when your court date is, and if you have to appear in court. Doing these things will help your DUI lawyer when your case goes to court and this information may very likely be needed.

Being Pulled Over by Unmarked or Plain Clothes Officer

If you’re pulled over by an unmarked vehicle with an officer in plain clothes, it is suggested that you ask for identifying information from the officer. If the officer fails to provide this, you can always contact 911 on your own just to confirm it. The officer should be able to provide you with identifying information upon request.

Chesterfield DUI Traffic Stop