Fairfax County DUI Traffic Stops
At a DUI traffic stop in Fairfax County, an individual is going to be approached by an officer who is in uniform and displaying a badge of authority.
Sometimes they’ll be in a marked police cruiser and in other cases they’ll be in an unmarked police cruiser. When the police officer approaches, they will ask for a license and registration. And they will often also ask a question which is calculated to incriminate the defendant such as, “Why were you speeding?” or “Do you know why I pulled you over?”
Individuals in traffic stops should be polite and cooperative with the police but should not volunteer any information nor should they answer any questions apart from simply identifying themselves, which they are required to do under Virginia law. They should get in contact with a Fairfax County DUI lawyer as quickly as they can.
When You See Flashing Lights in Your Mirror
If a person looks in their rearview mirror and sees a police vehicle with its emergency lights activated or hears a siren the individual should as soon as it is practical and safe to do so, pull over to the right shoulder of the road.
In many cases, a person may find that a police vehicle is simply passing them and will not find themselves stopped. However, if a Fairfax County police vehicle follows you to the right shoulder or remains behind you, then the individual should pull over as soon as it is safe to do so either on an area that has a shoulder or on to a side street or parking lot.
The best way to acknowledge the officer’s presence behind you is to put on your hazard lights or your turn signal. If it is not safe to pull over, then the best practice is to continue to drive until you encounter a side street or a parking lot where it is safe to pull in.
What to do When Pulled Over in Fairfax County
When pulled over during a daytime or nighttime stop, an individual should turn off their vehicle and place their hands on the steering wheel. The reason for this is that officers are trained to treat every traffic stop as potentially life-threatening because in some cases, they can be life-threatening.
By turning off your engine, placing your hands on your steering wheel and in the case of a nighttime stop, also turning on the lights inside your vehicle, you signal to the Fairfax County police officer that you’re compliant. You show them your hands so that they see that you’re not threatening them. And you also make it easier for them to see inside the vehicle so that they feel at ease.
An officer who sees that someone is cooperating, and who is not made to feel threatened by an individual’s actions, is more likely to treat an individual favorably during a traffic stop. At the point when an officer asks for an individual to retrieve their license and registration, the best thing to do is to let them know where your license and registration are and tell them that you’re going to go ahead and reach for them. This puts the officer at ease that you’re not reaching for a weapon.
When Pulled Over in Fairfax County at Night
Night time stops have a potential to be more dangerous for the driver as well as the police officer. Stopping on a road that has no shoulder or is not well-lit in a lane of a travel can be very difficult and dangerous.
The safe thing to do during at nighttime stop is to try to find a well-lit area that is off the road in order to pull over. At the same time, acknowledge the officer’s presence by putting on a signal or hazard lights if it takes more than just a few seconds to find an appropriate place. Cooperate with police officers throughout the entire process, so as not to complicate your situation. When you get the opportunity, call a Fairfax County DUI lawyer for legal assistance.
Interacting With Law Enforcement
When the officer approaches your vehicle, if your window is not already down, they will ask you to roll down your window to speak to them. In most cases, they will ask you for your license and registration. You are required to provide these things under Virginia law. The best thing to do is to let the officer know that your license and registration are in some location in your car and then let them know you’re going to go and reach for them as you do that.
If an officers asks you if you think you were speeding or why you’re going so fast or any other question, you are not required to answer them. The best thing to do is to politely tell the officer that you understand that they’re just doing their job but that you are going to remain silent.
After Handing the Officer Your License and Registration
Once you’ve given your license and registration to the officer, they will return to their vehicle and check each of those things against a computer database. The registration will be checked to make sure that it is current, that it belongs to the vehicle that the officer is seeing, and that the vehicle is not stolen.
The officer will then also look in the computer database to determine whether there are any outstanding warrants for you. As long as the officer confirms that neither of those things are a problem, they will return the license and the registration to you. If there’s a problem with the registration, you may be written a ticket for that, and of course if the officer discovers that there is an outstanding warrant for you, they will place you under arrest at that time.