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DAVID CLARK
Criminal Defense Attorney

Delaware County Traffic Stops

In Delaware County, either county police or state troopers can pull someone over with their lights and sirens if they believe a traffic or criminal offense has taken place. They might even run a license plate and pull over a car for reasons unknown to the driver. People should always take notice of the officers and pull over their vehicles if they are being followed with lights and sirens, even if they think they committed no driving infractions.

Police officers will generally be more cautious at night and more friendly or casual during the day. As a standard practice, they will ask the person what they are doing. Law enforcement officials have the right to ask a driver for their name and driver’s license, as there are certain laws that require people to provide their license and registration upon request to any law enforcement. The officers are within their rights to lawfully ask for those even for no reason at all when pulling someone over.

If you have questions regarding Delaware County traffic stops, reach out to an attorney. A seasoned traffic lawyer could explain your rights and what you should expect after getting pulled over.

What Should a Driver Do When They Hear Sirens or Patrol Lights?

When someone sees police lights and hears sirens behind them, they should pull over to the side of the road as quickly and safely as possible. If there is not immediately a safe area, they may want to signal with their turn signal or their hazard lights that they are slowing down and looking for a place to stop. They want to stop in a safe place so as to not put the officer on edge or put the officer at risk of their safety. When pulling over, generally, the person should not do so on a blind turn and not on a narrow shoulder, but a place where they can safely interact with the officer.

Process of a Traffic Stop in Delaware County

In a Delaware County traffic stop after a person is pulled over, they want to turn off the vehicle, lower the windows so the officers know that they are willing to interact with them and not being resistant. Also, for their safety, the officers are going to want to see their hands on the wheel and not immediately reaching for things. People may sometimes try to expedite the traffic stop by getting everything together, license, insurance registration quickly to speed up the process. While the driver may think this will make everything go quicker, it could make the officer more suspicious and feel at fear for their own safety.

After someone is pulled over, the next part is interacting with the officer. If the officer wants to see anything, they will ask the driver to produce it. Sometimes they may not even ask for those licenses or to prove insurance and registrations. They may simply want to speak to the driver and verify who is in the car and talk about possible traffic violations. After someone is pulled over and interacting with the police officer, they want to be polite and courteous even if they disagree as to why they are being pulled over. An officer is within their rights to delay the traffic stop to a certain amount of reasonable time. Even if the driver is in a rush or just frustrated by being pulled over, the police can lawfully delay the stop and they might do so if the driver warrants further investigation.

After the initial interaction, there may be some further police interaction. The officer may go back to their vehicle to verify the information, which might take a while. The driver must not leave the vehicle and generally should not move around too much. The best course of action is to simply wait, even if it is a tense situation or taking longer than the driver believes is necessary. Do not exit the car unnecessarily as that will cue a safety risk to the officer or an attempt to flee, and that will escalate the situation in their view. A driver can feel free to ask the officer questions but should avoid making statements that will be seen as admissions of guilt in court. Call a skilled lawyer for more information about a person’s rights at a traffic stop in Delaware County.

Speaking with the Officer at a Traffic Stop

Drivers have to answer some basic questions posed by the officer such as their name, where they live, date of birth, and provide registration and insurance. Beyond that, they do not have to say much more and definitely not any specifics about what they are doing while they are in the car and where they are going. A person has to weigh the benefits of refusing to answer any questions versus asserting their rights, but they do not have to answer any question that could incriminate them. Also, there is no requirement to give consent to search the car just because the officer asks. The driver can refuse to answer those questions or tell the officer they give no consent.

Call today to learn more about your rights at Delaware County traffic stops.