What should I do if I am stopped by the police? 10 Answers as of May 23, 2011

What should i do if I am stopped by the police while driving?

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Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
Cooperating with the officer is usually the best policy. Whether he is right or wrong is something to sort out later.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/23/2011
Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
Be polite, give truthful answer too question of identification, do not admit to anything about the underlying reason for the stop. If questioned about a criminal tell the police officer that you respectfully refuse to answer and that you would like to have an attorney. If you think this will happen you should have the phone number of the attorney you want on you.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/6/2011
Alanna D. Coopersmith, Attorney at Law
Alanna D. Coopersmith, Attorney at Law | Alanna D. Coopersmith
You should yield to their signal and pull over. Give them your truthful identity. Show them your ID if they ask for it.

Deny them consent to search your car or your things. You do not have to consent to most road-side breathalyzer tests. You do not have to consent to field sobriety tests. As far as a chemical test to test for drugs or alcohol, however, if you refuse your driver's license will be suspended by DMV.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/5/2011
Law Office of Thomas F. Mueller
Law Office of Thomas F. Mueller | Thomas Mueller
Be cooperative but don't answer questions beyond name, address and D.L. number.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/5/2011
Dennis Roberts, a P.C.
Dennis Roberts, a P.C. | Dennis Roberts
If you have drugs in the car you should piss your pants. If not and you have nothing to hide,have a valid license, registration is up to date, etc, I am not understanding your question. Most important thing is not to get smart with a cop. Nice and polite wins the day.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/4/2011
    Law Office of Geoffrey M. Yaryan
    Law Office of Geoffrey M. Yaryan | Geoffrey M. Yaryan
    Depends on why they stopped you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/4/2011
    Law Offices of Philip P. De Luca
    Law Offices of Philip P. De Luca | Philip De Luca
    Generally, speak as little as possible to police. They can record your conversation. Do not volunteer information and do not make incriminating statements. If you are asked a potentially incriminating question, request to have your attorney present and invoke your right to remain silent. Always ask why you are being stopped. Remember exactly what the officer tells you. In a routine traffic stop, the police can search what is called your "lunge area" to ensure you are not possessing any weapons. This is allowed to protect officer safety during routine traffic stops. Your lunge area is that reasonably within your reach inside the vehicle, moving your body in all directions within the vehicle. Generally speaking, to look beyond your lunge area, a warrant is required, however, there are exceptions to this rule, e.g., exigent circumstances, such as fleeing the scene of a larger crime, where you are the suspect, or leaving something out in the open where it can be readily seen by anyone, etc. If you have concerns regarding the contents inside your vehicle, the trunk is always the safest place to store things. Never give police permission to search your vehicle, as you are not obligated to do so, unless you are on probation, in which case, you may have forbeared your search and seizure rights. Another issue noteworthy is called an "impound inventory search", which is also an exception to the requirement of a warrant. If your car becomes impounded (for whatever reason), the police can lawfully search the vehicle and illegal possession of items can be prosecuted. If police conduct an illegal search of your vehicle, then it is likely that whatever is recovered can be successfully excluded from evidence by a skilled defense attorney. I have been successful in excluding from evidence scales, drugs, baggies, money, defendant's statements and other items in my career. Disclaimer: By no means is this a complete answer to your question, as there are a multitude of hypothetical questions that come up in connection with vehicle stops and/or searches. Hope this helps.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/4/2011
    Mandarano, Cavaletto & Associates
    Mandarano, Cavaletto & Associates | Christopher Mandarano
    I'm going to make an assumption that you are concerned about the legal aspects of a traffic stop and what you say and do at the time of the stop that might affect your case. If you are stopped, any statement you make to the law enforcement office may be held against you in a criminal case up until the arrest at which time the police agent should give you your Miranda warnings about your right to remain silent, retain an attorney, etc. It is always a good idea to simply answer any questions truthfully if you have not been engaging in a criminal act.

    If you are engaged in what you believe is probably a criminal act, then you will want to refrain from answering any questions directed to you until you have had such time as to consult an attorney. Even before arrest you may refuse to answer the police questions, but be aware that a refusal to cooperate with the law enforcement officer may lead to an arrest based on reasonable suspicion that you are engaged in an illegal activity.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/4/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    Exercise your right to remain silent, only showing your ID when requested.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/4/2011
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    Obey their instructions. Except, if it is not already too late, I advise you to exercise 5th Amendment rights to SHUT UP and call a lawyer, as every cop show on TV correctly teaches, if you are questioned or arrested.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/4/2011
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