No matter the situation, being pulled over by Atlanta police can be stressful. When this happens, you may get a rush of adrenaline and start to panic. However, knowing what to do and what to avoid doing can help you keep things calm and simple.
If you are pulled over and given a ticket or arrested for a crime, our legal team at Hines Law is ready to help. We will investigate your case and help build a defense for your situation. When you hire us, you can feel confident our goal will be to help you achieve the best possible outcome for your legal situation.
However, being prepared is key. Use the tips and information here to know what to do and what not to do when pulled over in Atlanta.
Always Be Polite
Police officers are people too. Usually, a person (no matter their position) will respond more positively to someone who is respectful and friendly. You should make sure that you treat police officers like you would a judge if you were in court. Saying “yes sir” or “no ma’am” will go a long way in these situations.
You should never get hostile or rude when pulled over. It’s advisable that you don’t talk to the police when you’re stopped. This isn’t going to help in any way. Many people are arrested just because they were hostile to the officer or because they did not follow the instructions given by the police.
Follow All Instructions from the Police Officer
This is a simple concept, but one many people forget. Some people believe they don’t have to comply with requests made by officers. This isn’t the case in most situations. If you don’t obey simple commands, such as “stay in your car,” “give me your license,” etc., it may escalate to a situation where you are arrested and charged with obstruction. Even in a situation where you believe the police officer has given you an unlawful command, be sure you stay calm and follow the directions they give you.
Avoid Admitting to Anything
Remember that just because you need to be polite and follow the instructions an officer gives you, it doesn’t mean you have to (or should) admit to criminal activity. In some situations, the officer may try to convince you that there’s something inside your vehicle you should tell them about. If you tell them now, it won’t be as big of a deal. Usually, these are tactics that are used to get you to admit to having contraband in your vehicle, and if you do this, you will likely be arrested.
The police must have probable cause to search your vehicle. If you admit to possessing something illegal, then it gives the police the probable cause they need to conduct a search. Also, you will have admitted that you were aware there was contraband in your vehicle, which eliminates the possibility of defending your situation.
Also, if the police stop you for suspected DUI, if you admit that you consumed alcohol, it will be used against you when your case goes to court.
It’s important to note that this does not mean that you need to lie to the police. Just don’t provide police officers with information or evidence they need to convict you of some crime. When the officer is questioning you on the side of the road, they are investigating the possibility of criminal activity. If you admit to anything, it is going to be used against you when your case goes to court.
Never Consent to a Search of Your Vehicle
People consent to have their vehicle searched all the time, all while knowing they have contraband inside of it. Consenting to this search is one of the worst decisions you can make. It will eliminate most of the defenses or issues available to challenge your vehicle being searched.
It’s best to politely refuse any search of your vehicle or your person. If the police do not accept this refusal, then it can be used as part of your defense. While this is true, you should never attempt to obstruct the officer from this at any time when you are pulled over.
Hire an Attorney to Help with Your Case or Situation
If you are pulled over, arrested, and charged with a crime by the police such as DUI in Atlanta, you have rights. If you believe that these actions were illegal or in some way unfair, our legal team at Hines Law is ready to help. We will investigate the situation and help determine any type of viable defense that is available.
While it is imperative that you obey what the police say and provide them with information, such as your name and address, you don’t have to admit to criminal activity or agree to a search of your vehicle or person. If the police do anything that is not allowed, we can use these actions as a potential defense for your case.
The best thing you can do is remain calm and cooperative when you are pulled over. This will help ensure the situation is not escalated and that more charges are made against you.
At Hines Law, we work with clients all the time who are fighting against police who may have overstepped their legal rights. We know how to build a defense for your case and will work to help you achieve the best possible outcome for your situation. Contact us for more information.