Law enforcement officers in Texas make about 2,600,000 traffic stops each year. If you are pulled over, the best thing you can do is comply with the police officer, speak calmly, and refrain from making threats or speaking aggressively.
Getting pulled over can induce anxiety, but it doesn’t have to. Understanding police traffic stop procedures can help you know what to expect and make the experience smoother.
Read this guide and learn what to expect if you ever get pulled over in Texas.
Follow These Police Traffic Stop Procedures
If you see a police officer attempting to pull you over, the first thing you should do is slow down and safely move to the side of the road. It’s best to park your car as far off the right side of the road as possible.
It’s also smart to park your car in a well-lit side street or parking lot that is away from the main traffic flow. Put your vehicle in park and turn off the engine. If it’s nighttime, you should turn on the vehicle’s dome light.
Interacting With the Officer
Roll down your driver’s side window and remain in the car. Keep both of your hands clearly within sight and on the steering wheel. The officer will then approach and give you instructions.
The officer will ask you for your driver’s license and proof of insurance. If you need to reach into your bag, glove box, or backseat, then let the officer know what you’re doing before you do it. This will help the officer know what to expect and assess perceived threats.
Exiting the Vehicle
You and your passengers should only exit the vehicle if the officer asks you to. If the officer does ask you to exit the vehicle, follow their directions.
If you have a warrant, it’s never a good idea to ignore a police officer attempting to pull you over. If you purposefully run when law enforcement is trying to detain/arrest you, it’s considered evading arrest. There are four elements to getting charged with evading arrest.
- You purposefully tried to flee
- You know you were fleeing from a police officer
- You fled on foot or in a vehicle
- The officer was attempting to arrest you
Complaint or Concerns
If you have a complaint or concern about an officer acting inappropriately, you should report your concerns to the officer’s superiors and submit an official complaint.
Don’t try to argue the validity of the charges during the traffic stop. This can lead to an escalating situation. You don’t want to make the situation worse unintentionally.
Signing a citation is not an admission of guilt. It only means you agree to pay a fine or contact the court. You should hire an attorney to argue the charges in court.
Seek Legal Representation Post Traffic Stop
If you have a citation as a result of police traffic stop procedures, then you should speak with a Texas attorney. They can help you asses your options and choose the best course of action for your situation.
An attorney can also assist you if you decided to resist or evade arrest. You’re facing more serious charges than a traffic citation and need legal representation.
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