pulled over, traffic stop

The Do’s and Don’ts When You Get Stopped for a Traffic Violation

If you got pulled over for a traffic violation, here's what you need to know.

DO: Be polite with the officer.

DON’T: Call the officer names, insinuate he is lying, or imply that he is trying to meet a ticket quota.

DO: Provide your pedigree information when asked.

DON’T: Make statements beyond basic pedigree information. Anything you say to the officer can, and will, be used against you in court. It’s best to smile politely and say nothing of substance.

DO: Stay in the vehicle unless the officer asks you to exit.

DON’T: Name drop. Everyone in America knows a few police officers. You’re not special if you have a PBA card. These days, a PBA card is not a golden ticket. It’s more likely to annoy the officer than to help you. Even worse, don’t mention that you know people in high places. The officer may interpret this as a veiled threat, and it definitely isn’t going to make your life any easier.

DO: Explain if there was an emergency situation. But remember, in traffic courts, the emergency justification is construed narrowly. “I’m late for my appointment” or “I’m rushing to get the kids from school” or “the Yankees game starts in 5 minutes” do not constitute emergencies. If you don’t have a real legal emergency, don’t say anything at all.

DON’T: Tell the officer you’ll see him in court. This will only serve to provoke him, and he will surely make a note of the statement. It’s a good way to make sure he’s prepared for you when the court date arrives.

DO: Call your friendly traffic attorney as soon as possible after getting a ticket. The earlier my office has your ticket, the better chance you have at winning.

Contact Stites Law at (212) 729-0472 to learn more.