For as long as I have been an attorney, I have not attended a single social function without being approached by someone for legal advice. In fact, it is the rare occasion when I am approached by only ONE person for advice in these circumstances. For the last 15 years, naturally those questions have revolved around what to do when someone gets pulled over in Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, or Broward Counties for a traffic ticket. Although the type of traffic ticket you get may vary, what you should do when it happens doesn’t change. If you are getting pulled over, the chances are good that you are going to be getting a traffic citation regardless as to whether or not you feel it is justified. The tips listed below will help minimize the number of incidences that you may be cited for because if a cop pulls you over, he is going to look for as many issues as he can to justify making the traffic stop.
DIAMOND’S TOP 10
- When you get pulled over, use your turn signal and do not take off your seatbelt. If you don’t use your turn signal, you may get an additional traffic ticket for making an improper lane change, and taking your seatbelt off can result in a seatbelt violation.
- Keep your hands at 10 and 2 on the steering wheel, and don’t get your license and registration out until the police officer approaches your vehicle. The nature of the job of police officers here in South Florida frequently places them in dangerous situations. As such, keeping your hands on the steering wheel will let the officer know that you are not reaching for a weapon or trying to hide anything illicit. Waiting until he approaches the car to get your license and registration will put him at ease by assuring him that you are not a threat him.
- When the officer asks you if you know why he pulled you over, simply say, “No sir, I don’t,” in a polite manner. Stating that you know you were doing something wrong is an admission of guilt. The officer will write this on the traffic ticket and use is against you in court. This makes my job of defending you much harder. Being respectful is just as important because if you are rude to him that will be something else he will notate on the traffic citation, and he is much more likely to remember you in court. Don’t forget that when it comes to going to court, you want to be as forgettable as possible.
- When the officer asks you for your documents, ask him if it’s okay for you to take off your seatbelt to retrieve them from your glove compartment. Again, this makes him more comfortable by knowing that you are not intending any harm, and being polite will leave a positive impression on him.
- When the officer goes back to his car to run a check on your license and registration, don’t start making phone calls on your cell phone. You may think that there is no harm in this and that the police officer is busy running a check on your license and registration, but it can be considered rude and disrespectful. It also gives the police officer the impression that you are not taking the traffic stop seriously.
- When the officer comes back and tells you that he is going to write you a traffic ticket for “X”, ask him if he is willing to give you a break, but don’t grovel. It never hurts to ask politely if he will not write you a ticket this time, but don’t beg and don’t get angry if he says no. Always behave with dignity to avoid making this bad situation even worse.
- When the officer gives you the ticket to sign, simply sign it. When you sign the traffic ticket, you are simply acknowledging that you received it; it is not an admission of guilt. If, however, you choose not to sign the traffic ticket, it will result in you being taken to jail which unnecessarily complicates a simple traffic stop.
- When the officer hands you the ticket, say thank you then pull away slowly. Use caution not to spin your tires, and don’t have an attitude. Not only will this behavior make you memorable when you go to court to fight your traffic ticket, but you can also find yourself with an additional ticket for careless driving. Getting an attitude is not going to help you, and once the cop drives away, the incident is over with for him. No one likes getting a traffic ticket, but getting angry doesn’t change the fact that you have a traffic ticket to deal with.
- Take notes. Write down as much as you can remember such as the time of day, road conditions, location of the traffic stop, your speed, the police officer’s name, and anything else that you can think of that may be useful in court. These notes will help you to more effectively dispute the traffic ticket if you go to court to fight the ticket which we almost always recommend.
- Call the Traffic Ticket Team and give us your notes. We have tremendous experience in dealing with all types of traffic tickets and have a great success rate. By providing us with the notes of the specifics of the traffic stop, it gives us an even greater chance of successfully handling your traffic ticket for you.
No one enjoys getting a traffic ticket, but it has been my experience that it happens to everyone sooner or later. By following the suggestions I have listed here, you stand to achieve a better outcome when it happens to you. Regardless of the type of traffic ticket that you may get, the Traffic Ticket Team has represented clients with all types and has obtained a 99% favorable outcome. So, give us a call at 954-967-9888 for a free consultation, and let us fight your traffic citation for you