Best Practices for Staying Safe and Maybe Even Avoiding that Traffic Ticket in New Jersey
Clearly, the most effective way to avoid a traffic stop and a ticket is to not be pulled over in the first place. Sounds pretty simple, right? Well, even the most careful driver may make a mistake now and then. So, whether you’re an adrenaline junkie or the proverbial Sunday driver who just didn’t see that stop sign, the following advice may be the difference between a traffic stop that ruins your year and a friendly warning that merely slows you on your way to your destination.
Just Be Reasonable!
If you are stopped by the police, comply with legal instructions in a calm and reasoned manner. The following helpful tips can make a profound difference during a traffic stop. An important rule of thumb to remember is that being polite can go a long way.
- Don’t try to talk your way out of a ticket. The officer has heard it all.
- Cops are human too. Relate to them on a human level. You never know. They may just let this one slide if it was a simply error that didn’t involve reckless, dangerous driving.
- Don’t expect a police office to let it go if you’re driving drunk. Just comply and try to minimize the damage. Talk to a lawyer immediately afterward.
Avoiding a ticket is an understandable goal, but even more important is making sure you remain safe throughout the traffic stop. This can best be achieved by acting in a rational and non-threatening manner.
- Stay calm and don’t react thoughtlessly. Keep your wits about you so that you are thinking reasonably before your act. Most officers will react better to composure than belligerence and anger.
- Use your words carefully. It’s best to speak rationally and non-confrontationally. Knowing your rights is important. Screaming your rights at a police officer while insulting him or her is usually a bad idea. But don’t go overboard by being overly deferential, as this can raise the law officer’s suspicions and lead to a lengthier, more intrusive stop.
- Stay safe. For your welfare, make sure the officer can see where your hands are at all times.
- No aggressive movement. Don’t lunge or make sudden moves that may be misinterpreted as threatening. Never touch the police officer.
- No Obstruction. Don’t resist, interfere or obstruct the officer in any way.
- Be smart. Keeping your mouth shut is typically the smartest option. Observe, listen and remember. This is easier to accomplish and more effective when you aren’t the one talking.
- Document the stop. Immediately after a stop, write down everything you recall. Be sure to include the officer’s badge number, patrol car number and the agency he is from. If you have any injuries, seek medical attention and document the injuries with pictures and medical records.
After all is said and done, speak to an experienced New Jersey Traffic Lawyer to review your options. The Reinartz Law Firm is here to help.