Getting pulled over is not the kind of experience that you want to have, yet it is an experience that some have to deal with at some point. You should know everything there is to know about a police stop so that you are prepared and know what to do. This is especially important if you are considering a NYC Traffic Ticket Attorney to fight a ticket that you feel was given to you unjustly.
NYC Traffic Ticket: What to Do When Stopped
Getting stopped by the cops can be frightening, which could force you to stress out and say the wrong thing. A stressed individual could do any of the following due to fear:
- You might lose your temper and say something offensive to the cop. This could get you in more trouble, not to mention an expensive ticket.
- There is a chance you may be nervous enough to lose concentration, which a cop may mistake as you deliberately ignoring him or her.
Do not worry because you do not have to be scared of the cop. Remember, at the end of the day, a cop is a servant of the people so he or she is there doing his or her duty.
The first that you should do is try to stop as soon as you notice the lights flashing. But make sure that you do so in a safe manner as you pull to the right. Make a complete stop before turning your car off while you wait for further instructions.
Stopping or at least making sure you signal as soon as you see or hear the sirens shows that you were paying attention to your surroundings. This is a good thing for you. Plus, it is better for you to stop closer to wherever the possible violation occurred so you have a better frame of reference.
Be sure to consider appeasing any fears that the police officer may have. You can do this by turning on the interior light if you were stopped at night. And you can also dispose of gum or cigarettes. Also, be sure to roll up your window all the way down before the officer has to request it.
It would be a good idea to place your hands on the steering wheel where the officer can plainly see them. Leave them there until the officer says otherwise.
Understand that you do have the right to stay in your vehicle, even when an officer asks you to get out. But–in this case–an officer does have the right to ask you to step out if he or she has issued a traffic violation. Remember that failing to comply might seem dangerous to an officer. So he or she may exercise the right to search you for any dangerous weapons. Do not give them that right by failing to comply.
The cop does not have the right to search your vehicle unless he or she notices something incriminating in plain view. The cop may also search the car should he or she find a probable cause. This could be something as simple as you enacting what police officers refer to as furtive movement. Furtive movement is when the driver or any of the passengers lowers one shoulder or both. This usually indicates that you or someone in the car might have attempted to hide something under the seat. The cop may use this as a way to gain access to your car.
One thing to remember is a cop does not have the right to search your cellphone. Of course it is better to talk to your NYC traffic ticket attorney to make sure you know everything there is to know about getting stopped by a police officer.
NYC Traffic Ticket Attorney: Steps for Fighting the Ticket
You are going to have to take a few steps while being pulled over if you intend to have your lawyer fight this particular ticket.
The first thing that you want to do is pay attention to the ticket given to you. Mistakes that are big enough can be grounds for dismissal. Say, for example, the officer describes your car as a compact car when it is more of an SUV. Keep this information to yourself; just keep a note of it, and give it to your lawyer.
You also want to make sure that you can legibly see the traffic code that the officer is stating that you violated. And be sure to ask the officer to explain what he or she is citing you for. Make notes of what is said to you if you need to.
Try to write down important information of the scene as soon as you are able to. This means that you need to write down the time of the citation, how long the officer detained you, the weather conditions, where you were stopped, and traffic conditions.
All of this information could be helpful depending on the nature of the ticket you received. For example, your lawyer may be able to argue that cars usually drive faster at a certain time if you received a ticket for speeding. Some states allow cars to adjust speed within reason at certain times of the day or when there is not a lot of traffic. You can talk to your traffic ticket attorney to help you understand the specific laws in New York.
Get contact information from passengers who might have to testify on your behalf. Keep in mind that it is better to have a stranger testify on your behalf, so do your best to find someone that you do not know to help you.
Take photographs from your perspective, and label the photograph as well. Be sure to also take a photograph from the police officer’s perspective. This could be helpful if the officer’s perspective was obstructed in some way where he or she might not have been able to see the entire incident enough to make a judgment call.
You can talk to your NYC traffic attorney about other steps that might be helpful to increase your chances of beating this traffic ticket.