What to Expect at a Traffic Stop in Colonial Heights

When a person sees or hears sirens behind them, they should pull over to the right shoulder and have their license and registration ready to go. Often, individuals may not know what to expect at a traffic stop in Colonial Heights. People can expect a traffic stop to include either a state trooper or a member of the Colonial Heights Police Department. Most of the time, it is going to be a state trooper because the police department in Colonial Heights is busy doing other things and not monitoring the roadways.

The officer may just walk up to the vehicle, ask for license and registration, and check the back of the car. If everything goes smoothly, the process can take about 15 to 20 minutes without any problems. They may ask where the person is coming from or ask where they are going and if they know how fast they were going.

Those who have been stopped and charged with violating a traffic offense should reach out to a knowledgeable reckless driving attorney. They could help mitigate the consequences of a conviction.

The Process Of a Traffic Stop

For a traffic stop, a person should pull over to the right shoulder. If there is no shoulder, they should pull over as far as they can to the right side of the road while still being safe. If it is late at night with no lights, they can pull over into a well-lit area so long as they acknowledge the police officer and signal that they are going to pull over.

Ways to signal to an officer that a person is going to pull over but needs to find a safe spot include waving out the window, putting on hazard lights, and calling the police department to let them know. They should not travel for longer than a mile and a half, or they may be charged with misdemeanor eluding. If they feel unsafe, they can call the police department to inform them that they intend to pull over but need to find a safe area first.

The person should expect the officer to ask them for their license and registration. They should not engage in small talk and say as little as possible to the officer. They should not consent to any searches of the vehicle even if the officers tell them that they smell drugs or alcohol.

Where to Place Hands During a Stop?

In a daytime stop, people who have been pulled over should turn off their car, put their keys on the dashboard, and have their license and registration already ready. If the license and registration is not ready by the time the officer starts walking to their vehicle, the person should keep their hands up so that they can be seen by the officer at all times. Put both my hands out the window so that they can see them.

A person should never exit the vehicle unless commanded out of the vehicle or pulled out of the vehicle. If they need the license and registration, the person should tell them where it is and ask them for permission to go into that area.

The process of a stop does not change at night, but the person should ensure that they do not make any quick motions that can be interpreted as dangerous to the officer.

What Happens After Handing Over Information?

If everything goes smoothly, a person in a traffic stop should expect the officer to walk back to their car, go through some information, sign a ticket, bring a summons to the person, and tell them that they must appear in court. This is not an admission of guilt. This is just a piece of paper that acknowledges that the officer gave the person a ticket. They also may tell the person that they do not have to show up in court and can call the clerk’s office.

After they do that, they will ask the person to sign the summons, which the person should do. After that, the person usually is free to go.

How a Reckless Driving Attorney Could Help

When a person is stopped by a law enforcement officer, they should know their rights, know that they do not have to consent to a search and articulate those rights to the officer as politely as possible. The officer may ask questions that sound like demands, but they do not have the right to search a person’s vehicle without probable cause. The person should not consent to searches and should always ask permission before committing any action.

It is best to speak to an experienced reckless driving attorney to learn about what to expect at a traffic stop in Colonial Heights. Schedule a consultation today.