Posted on February 23, 2016 in Traffic Violations
It is estimated that Americans pay billions of dollars each year on traffic violations. Receiving these tickets can be daunting and frustrating because due to their time consumption. However, we often hear stories about our friends and family who always get out of tickets. Some people have all the luck – or so it seems. They talk about being pulled over regularly but never seem to receive a ticket. Do these people have natural charm? Maybe, but anyone can and should learn how to effectively handle a traffic ticket. You may not always get out of a ticket, but strong communication skills can also help you negotiate a traffic ticket later.
First and foremost, do not try to outrun a police officer or ignore the lights flashing behind you if you want to try to negotiate a traffic ticket. You can acknowledge the officer behind you by putting on your hazard lights and then move at a slow and steady pace over to a safe location on the right of the road. Many drivers feel the need to pull over at the first place they find, but you have the right to move to a place where you feel safe as long as you do so in a non-threatening manner.
If you are on a backroad at night or have concerns about an officer’s legitimacy, you can always call 911 to verify the officer making the stop. If you don’t have your phone with you, drive at a slow pace with your hazard lights on until you reach a well-lit and populated area. Unfortunately, some stops are conducted by criminals pretending to be police officers, and some officers do not abide by a code of ethics.
Stop your car completely, turn off the radio, and locate your license and registration. If you are pulled over at night, turn on your interior lights to improve visibility. Although any confrontation with a police officer can be intimidating, remember that officers are humans, too.
Avoid shuffling around in your vehicle and put your hands on the wheel when the officer starts to approach you. An officer never knows what he or she will encounter on the roadside, and remaining calm and predictable can diffuse a tense situation.
To successfully negotiate a traffic ticket, let the officer talk first. Remain polite as the officer explains why you were stopped. If you don’t understand the explanation, ask for clarification. NEVER admit to speeding or another infraction.
An officer may try to ask you to incriminate yourself with a question such as “Do you know why I pulled you over?” Stick to a brief, confident response of yes or no without explanation. If the officer tries to elicit a reaction from you by citing the speed he or she thinks you were going, do not answer, or say something along the lines of, “I understand.”
You do not have to say anything during a traffic stop. If you plan not to say anything, explain with a simple phrase like “I’m going to remain silent.” You never have to speak to an officer under any circumstances unde the 5th amendment.
Defend your case before the officer moves to write the citation. The reasons officers let individuals get away with minor infractions such as speeding vary. Try asking for a warning or apologizing for the error. Avoid doing or saying anything that could be perceived as threatening.
If the officer does not seem interested in your plight and issues you a citation, accept the ticket and ask the officer for advice on keeping the incident off your driving record. An officer may reduce the fine or the severity of the infraction to help you out. Remember that it is much easier to hand out a citation to someone who is rude or argumentative. Your goal when negotiating a traffic ticket is to get the officer to sympathize with you.
Need help with a case that started because of a traffic stop? a skilled Phoenix traffic violations attorney has the experience to negotiate a traffic ticket to aid your case. Contact Orent Law Offices for a free case evaluation.