Columbia Traffic Stops

Whenever you violate the rules of the road, you could be pulled over by the police and issued a traffic citation. In Columbia, a traffic stop will either be conducted by a state trooper or a Howard County police officer. To alert the driver they want them to pull over, the officer will turn on their siren or use their lights to get the driver’s attention. To find out more information about Columbia traffic stops, read on or call a seasoned traffic lawyer today.

Traffic Stop Process

When a driver is being pulled over by the police, the individual should pull over where it is safe to do so, which may change from situation to situation. If someone is stopped at night, they may want to turn on the inside light of their car so that the officer can get a better look at the driver. When the officer is approaching their vehicle, the driver can go ahead roll down their window to prepare to engage in a conversation with the officer.

Mistakes a Driver Should Avoid at a Traffic Stop

During Columbia traffic stops, it is important for the driver to know what mistakes to avoid. First, an individual should not fail to stop or attempt to elude the police when the officer is alerting them to pull over. A driver also needs to be respectful towards the officer and not provide them with any false information. It is important for the person to have their driver’s license, proof of insurance, and proof of registration ready to show to the officer. Also, an individual needs to avoid doing anything that may escalate the situation.

Common Questions an Officer May Ask

When someone is being pulled over by the police, the officer may ask the driver:

  • If they know why they are being pulled over
  • If they know how fast they think they were going
  • Where the driver was headed
  • What the driver had been doing

The questions asked by the officer usually depend upon the reason the officer is initiating the stop and what they information they need regarding the underlying cause of the stop. Drivers do not have to answer any of the police offers questions, however, sometimes it is beneficial to be polite and cooperative because the judge will ask the officer at the trial what the demeanor of the driver was.

What to do When Pulled Over by Unmarked Vehicle

In the event a driver is pulled over by an unmarked vehicle with the officer in street clothes, the officers must identify themselves so the person knows who they are. The driver can call the police and ask why they are being pulled over by an officer in an unmarked vehicle to make sure that they are not being pulled over by a person pretending to be an officer. This is not likely to happen, but if it does, it is important to make sure that it is, in fact, an officer who is pulling them over. For more information about Columbia traffic stops, consult with an experienced attorney today.