Traffic Stops in Fairfax
Traffic stops are a common occurrence on the road. Drivers can be pulled over for anything from speeding, to a busted tail light, to not wearing a seatbelt. However, it can be nerve-wracking for some during their first traffic stop. It is helpful to know the procedure for traffic stops in Fairfax so that the interaction does not escalate. If there is a misunderstanding that results in an unwarranted ticket, a skilled traffic attorney could help you fight that citation in court.
What a Driver Should Do When an Officer Stops Them
The number one thing that a driver should do when they hear sirens or see patrol lights in their rearview mirror is to pull over, even if turns out the signals are for a different driver. No one should attempt to elude a police officer.
Most law enforcement officers will be driving a marked cruiser. If they are not in a marked cruiser, the officer should be in uniform and have their badge and department displayed. A person should always be sure that they see the officer’s credentials, including a badge or any other identifying information that prove they are a law enforcement officer. An attorney could help someone defend against a charge or citation that was given by an unmarked officer at a traffic stop in Fairfax.
Where Should Drivers Pull Over?
If a driver learns that a law enforcement officer is attempting to pull them over, the first thing they should do is to slow down. Then they should look for a safe place to pull over. If there is no shoulder or other well-lit area, the driver can continue on until they find a safe place.
If the driver plans to go further than they expected to pull over, they should move at a steady pace until finding a safe spot, such as a side street or some other location other than the middle of a travel lane.
If a driver is pulled over at night, they should pull over in some well-lit area such as a shopping mall, restaurant, or other parking lot area where there are streetlights, if possible.
What Should Somebody Expect at a Traffic Stop in Fairfax?
If someone is pulled over, they can expect the officer is likely to walk up to the driver’s side window, ask them to roll their window down, and ask for their driver’s license and registration. All drivers should have these items ready when they are pulled over.
Further, the driver can expect to be given the reason for the stop, and to wait for approximately five to ten minutes while the officer goes back to their vehicle and writes the ticket, if necessary. During the traffic stop, many police officers will also confirm that the driver is not wanted on any arrest warrant or other detainer. They will also check the registration to make sure that is up to date, and the driver has all their inspections and other obligations met.
How to Put Officers at Ease During a Traffic Stop
It is recommended for drivers who are pulled over during a traffic stop to roll down their window and grip the steering wheel to show that there is nothing in their hands. This is important because when police officers pull someone over, they have no idea of who is in the vehicle and whether that person presents a danger to them. If the driver can show that they have no weapons or any other means to present a danger, the interaction may proceed smoothly.
A driver should also prepare to give a police officer their driver’s license and their registration. If that is not immediately within reach, they should wait for the officer to approach their window and explain where their driver’s license and registration is, so they can safely retrieve it.
Speak to an Attorney About Handling Traffic Stops in Fairfax
Most instances of being pull over by a police officer happen without incident. However, there are times when one or both parties could be suspicious of the other. Therefore, you should familiarize yourself with the typical pattern of traffic stops in Fairfax. Get in contact with a local attorney if you need legal advice after one of these encounters.