Most people, including the author of this blog entry, will be pulled over for suspicion of committing a traffic violation at some point. What are you supposed to do when it happens to you? Where do you place your hands during the encounter? What if there is no safe place to pull over? These are questions you should know the answer to in the event that you are pulled over for a traffic violation in North Carolina.
What You Should Do If You Get Pulled Over
First, pull your vehicle over as soon as possible and it is safe to do so, preferably in well-lit area. Place your vehicle in park, roll down the window, and turn off the engine. Turn off or otherwise put you cell phone into sleep mode. Make sure to leave your seatbelt on at all times unless instructed otherwise.
It is very important to remain and calm and keep your hands in plain sight of the officer at all times, especially when it is dark outside. Law enforcement officers are people on-the-job just like the rest of us, only they work in a volatile, public environment. Do not reach for the glove box unless instructed to do so. Keep both hands on the steering wheel and wait for the officer to direct you to retrieve your registration. Do not exit the vehicle unless expressly ordered to do so by the law enforcement officer.
If it is dark, the officer may direct a spotlight at your vehicle once stopped. To assist with visibility, turn on your interior lights as soon as you stop to help the officer see inside your vehicle. This will promote the idea that you are there to cooperate and care about the officer’s safety as well as your own.
If you are Conceal and Carry Permit holder (CCW) or otherwise have a firearm or another weapon in the car, do not attempt to reach for the weapon. When the officer approaches, inform him that you have a weapon in the vehicle. Describe the weapon and its location. If you are a CCW holder, it is a separate criminal offense in itself to not advise the officer of the weapon.
Keep in mind that most officers are genuinely good people with a difficult job to do. Simple courtesy goes a long way in most encounters with law enforcement. A polite “yes, sir” or “no, sir” can pay dividends later in court depending upon your charge.
Raleigh Traffic Attorney Managing Difficult Cases for You
If you have been pulled over and cited with a traffic violation in North Carolina, getting an experienced traffic attorney on your side will be a great benefit to you. Dial (919) 587-8544 to reach Cotten Law Firm, PLLC at any time, 24/7. Our Raleigh traffic lawyer and our legal team would be glad to discuss options with you regarding your case during a no-cost case evaluation.