What to Expect at a Traffic Stop in Lexington

If an officer pulls someone over legally in South Carolina, they will have probable cause to believe that there was a traffic violation or a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. When a driver gets pulls over, the driver should expect the officer to ask them a few questions regarding their driver’s license, insurance, and registration. They are going to checkof the motorist is driving legally, or check their driving history to see if they have any pending warrants out for their arrest.

It is best to speak to a tenacious defense attorney to learn about what to expect at a traffic stop in Lexington. A diligent traffic attorney could advise you of your rights and help you build a defense against a traffic citation.

What To Do After Hearing Sirens?

When a driver hears sirens or sees patrol lights in their mirrors, they should slow down and pull over to a safe place on the side of the road as soon as possible. Drivers are required to pull over within a reasonable amount of time and distance in a safe place. If there is no shoulder, it is best to try to get as far over to the right as possible to avoid impeding traffic. The driver needs to let the police officer know they think they are in an unsafe place, and ask to move to a safer place. Most of the time, the officer will agree, but some may not.

The officer is going to assess the situation, whether the person is overly nervous, if there is a smell of marijuana or alcohol, or a series of things to determine their next step.

Pulled Over At Night

If a driver is pulled over at night, there will be a need to pull over to a well-lit area. They must pull over within a reasonable amount of time. The more visible, the safer the place could be compared with a very dark street.

Pulled Over By an Unmarked Vehicle and a Plain Clothes Officer

If the driver is pulled over by an unmarked vehicle, and the officer is in plain clothes, the driver should ask the officer to show their badge. The driver also would be well-advised to record the interaction with their cell phone, and probably tell the officer they are doing so, to keep everybody honest.

Where Should The Driver’s Hands Be When The Officer Approaches The Vehicle?

The driver’s hands should definitely be on the steering wheel as the officer approaches the vehicle. The hands should not be reaching under the seat or in a glove compartment or in the middle console. The officer’s suspicions will be raised higher, so hands on the steering wheel is the best policy.

Things to Avoid During a Traffic Stop

During a traffic stop, a driver should avoid being fidgety and overly nervous because that will make a police officer more suspicious. Drivers should keep their hands visible on the steering wheel. The biggest mistakes that one should avoid making during a traffic stop is being rude, aggressive, and making furtive movements that might indicate they are trying to hide something.

Speaking to Officers

When the officer arrives, it is best to not to answer any investigative questions. Drivers should exercise their right to remain silent and politely decline to answer the officer’s questions and avoid offering any other information without the advice of an attorney. The police officer could ask a person questions that could implicate them in a crime. The officer may be on a fishing expedition. Every case is unique, and whatever information they provide to the officer could be used against them later in court.

Drivers do have to provide the basic information of the driver’s license, address, license registration, and insurance information if they are driving on a public roadway. They do not have to answer any other questions about where they were going, where they have been and how much they had to drink, without seeking the advice of a traffic attorney.

The driver may ask in a polite way why they were pulled over, are they being detained, are they free to go, but beyond that, they should not say anything else. Once the purpose of the traffic stop is over, there is no need for them to hold a person any longer. They could have an unlawful detention case if they are holding a person longer than necessary.

How a Traffic Attorney Could Help

If a person is given a ticket by an officer, they should contact an attorney as soon as possible. The lawyer could walk them through the ticket and explain everything in detail, so they understand it and the best course of action. They need to find out when their court date is because if they miss that court date, they can be charged with failure to appear, they could receive a bench warrant for their arrest, or they could be tried in their absence and found guilty because they did not show up.

Call today to learn about what to expect at a traffic stop in Lexington and the next steps to take.