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Loudoun County Attorneys > Blog > Criminal Defense > What to Do if You Are Pulled Over While Driving

What to Do if You Are Pulled Over While Driving

Being pulled over is not a fun experience. Even if you do not believe you were doing anything wrong, it can still be nerve-wracking to potentially receive a ticket or even get arrested. That is why it is so important to know what to do if you are pulled over so you do not accidentally get yourself into more trouble or unknowingly give up any of your rights. One crucial thing to remember is to contact a skilled traffic violation attorney as soon as possible after a ticket or arrest.

When Being Pulled Over

If you see the police officer’s lights behind you indicating that you should pull over, you must pull over to the side of the road as soon as you are able to do so safely. Safety is the priority and so you should also pull off as far to the side of the road as possible to avoid any accidents from oncoming traffic.

After you pull over you should sit calmly and wait for the officer to approach your car and instruct you in what to do next. Keep your hands visible at all times. Virginia law requires all drivers to have their driver’s license and vehicle registration with them when they are driving. If the officer requests these documents and you keep them in the glove compartment, let the police officer know that you are going to reach for the documents.

The officer may or may not explain why they pulled you over. Either way remain calm and cooperative, but do not admit to anything. Remember that your words can be used against you, so be cooperative, but quiet. You can tell the officer your name and that the car is yours, but otherwise you do not need to answer questions. If you feel that you are being mistreated, do not argue with the officer, just note his or her name and badge number. You can always file a complaint later.

If Ticketed

If you are ticketed for a traffic infraction by the officer, do not admit guilt. You can sign the ticket without admitting anything. However, as soon as possible after getting the ticket, you should contact an attorney. Remember that reckless driving in Virginia is a crime, so it has greater and longer lasting penalties than a mere traffic infraction.

If the Officer Asks to Search Your Vehicle

If the police officer asks to search your car, you should respectfully say you do not consent to a search. There are some cases where a police officer has the right to search your car, but often they will rely on permission to search. Sometimes they will phrase the question in a way that makes it hard to say no, but stand your ground and continue to respectfully decline.

Contact a Leesburg, Virginia Traffic Violation Attorney as Soon as Possible

If you are pulled over, ticketed, or arrested, you should contact a knowledgeable traffic violation attorney as soon as possible. Our experienced traffic violation attorneys at Simms Showers, LLP represent clients in Leesburg, Loudoun County and Manassas, Virginia and can help to get your charges reduced or dismissed.



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