It can be a real drag to be pulled over for speeding. You may get a costly ticket. which can lead to your insurance rates going up. If you have previous offenses, you may be in even more trouble.
Of course, the best way to avoid a speeding ticket is by never exceeding the speed limit. But everyone knows that that is easier said than done! Everyone has been in the position of being in a hurry or listening to a great song on the radio, or simply not realizing that they were going 60 in a 40 mph zone.
Why not take a few precautions to prevent you from getting in trouble for going over the speed limit? These tips may help you avoid some of the more burdensome penalties that can accompany getting pulled over.
1. Don’t Admit It
If you get pulled over, one of the first things the cop may say to you is, “Did you know you were going 70 back there?” or “Did you know you were over the limit back on Main Street?”
Do not agree.
if you agree, you will be admitting guilt. When you admit your wrongdoing, you lose all opportunity to argue your way out of the ticket and the penalties that go with it.
Do not apologize. Do not make jokes. Do not say anything more than you have to.
The Fifth Amendment of the Constitution protects you from self-incrimination. That means you have the right to be silent when what you say may incriminate you.
2. Be Polite
However, you should not have a sullen or defiant attitude. When you get pulled over, the cop has the authority to do whatever he or she feels is warranted by the occasion. Don’t give him the reason to start looking in your car or making you get out of the vehicle.
Police are people. too. Calling them “officer” shows respect, and asking how they are doing shows you are a courteous person. You never know when just being nice might help ease the situation.
3. Let the Officer Know You’re Reaching for Something
If the police come up to your car window and ask to see your license, insurance card, and registration, let them know you are reaching for your purse or glove compartment. Too many tragedies have happened when someone reached too hurriedly for something and the cops thought he was going for a weapon.
State troopers who pull cars over on deserted highways in the dead of night may have reason to be afraid as well. A nervous cop may be more aggressive, which you definitely do not want.
Put the officer at ease by acting at ease yourself. You may have been driving too fast but you have nothing else to be ashamed of!
5. Be Prepared
You should always carry your driver’s license with you when you are planning to get behind a wheel. You should always keep your registration and insurance card in your glove compartment or someplace else where you have easy access in the unfortunate situation that a cop pulls you over.
Make sure these documents are up to date. You can get higher fines if your registration or license has expired. You are at risk for more serious penalties if you do not have these documents at all.
You should also be prepared for any law enforcement encounters by keeping your car in good working order and free of anything that seems suspicious. Do your taillights work? Has your car been inspected lately?
Needless to say, you should not be driving with any open bottles in your car, even if you yourself are not drinking. You should also not have any suspicious substances within view, even if you have a prescription!
6. Ask for a Warning
Just because a police person pulls you over, it does not mean that you will necessarily get a ticket. You may actually be able to get out of it.
If you feel that you had justification in going a little fast (“my wife is in labor!”) or if you were only going a few miles over the speed limit, it is sometimes possible to gain the cop’s sympathy. Some will actually let you go with only a warning.
It’s best not to argue too much over this request. It is only effective if your infraction was so minor or your circumstances were completely understandable and the police person is in a very forgiving mood.
7. Observe Everything
Make sure you observe the police carefully in all their interactions with you. Getting pulled over is stressful and scary, and this anxiety can play games with your memory.
You may want to jot down some notes after the experience so you remember clearly everything that happened.
You may have heard about situations where people were pulled over unjustly and surreptitiously filmed the police using their cell phones. These videos have been the basis for claims of undue intimidation and discrimination.
Be Aware, Be Vigilant, Know Your Rights If You’re Pulled Over For Speeding
If you are being pulled over on a simple traffic stop, we hope that it does not escalate. However, in case there are conflicts or other issues with the behavior of the police, having a video can be a valuable tool.
If you decide to challenge your ticket, or if you feel like your stop was discriminatory or unfair, your recall of the event will be very important. Your lawyer may decide to challenge law enforcement’s methods as a way of defending you against the ticket.
8. Drive Home Slowly
After an interaction with the law, stay calm and carry on. No matter how rattled you are, you are still in their presence. Drive off as calmly as you can before you proceed to either call your spouse and rant or call your lawyer.
While you are resolving this issue, try to stay under the speed limit and obey all traffic laws! The last thing you want while waiting to resolve a speeding violation is another one.
Pulled Over for Speeding: It’s Not the End of the World
if you get pulled over for speeding, do not despair. You can behave in a way that makes the entire situation less anxiety-provoking. You may also have grounds to dispute the ticket, so talk to a lawyer who is experienced in challenging speeding violations.
If you have gotten a speeding ticket in Louisiana or if you have questions about your rights, contact us.