This happens to everyone at some point in their lives. Maintaining a vehicle that HAS NOTHING WRONG WITH IT is challenging, especially if the car is out of warranty. Every driver knows if there license is valid. Everyone knows or should know if they have a warrant, missed a court date or have missed an appointment with their parole or probation officer.
So what happens if you are pulled over?
The first thing you need to know is what will be asked of you if you get pulled over in San Jose or other parts of Northern California:
“Do you know why you were stopped?” or “Have you been drinking?” are commonly asked questions.
The first thing to do is besides getting your registration, driver’s license and proof of insurance out is have your lawyer’s card in your hand.
Another tip is to always have your car clean. A messy car where the officer cannot see the back seat invites more scrutiny and unwanted attention. Do not be a pack rat!
Next, it is best to pause for a few seconds before you answer any questions. Think about what is being asked. If the officer says to “step out of the car,” you can ask them why. If the answer is “so I can search your car,” you also have the right to ask if there is probable cause to do so. Remember to be respectful at ALL times and to ask your questions in a tactful manner as to not escalate the situation!
If you have a passenger, make sure they take notes of everything you do.
Asking intelligent and relevant questions to the officer will signal to him or her that you know your rights. In addition, writing a police report becomes more time consuming, because all dialogue must be in the police report.
In addition, kindly ask the officer if the traffic stop is being recorded on the dash cam.
If you do not speak English fluently say, “officer I do not speak English very well and I don’t understand — can you please talk more slowly? I may need an interpreter if I am not free to leave. Can you call an officer who speaks my native language?
Never consent to having your car or house searched, even if you are on parole or probation and never consent to your home being searched. You cannot stand in their way, but you can say no. Remember even if you are not in handcuffs does not mean you can be arrested in violation of your Miranda Rights.
As a final reminder, keep in mind that routine traffic stops all-too-often get unnecessarily escalated due to belligerent of confrontational drivers. Know your rights and be respectful to ensure the traffic stop goes as smoothly as possible.
If you have been pulled over for alleged traffic violations or any other related offense in Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, San Jose, or surrounding areas, call our office for a FREE and CONFIDENTIAL 30 minute consultation.
We look forward to assisting you.