Here’s a common fact pattern we see. You are driving at night and the police pull you over for some bogus reason. (you allegedly ran a stop sign, your tag light was out, you changed lanes without signaling) He walks up to your driver door and asks for your license and registration. He shines a flashlight around inside your car. He tells you the reason he made the traffic stop was for an inoperable tag light. (Tag light stops are almost always a fishing expedition which are mostly due to the neighborhood or the type of car you are driving.)
What do you do? You DO NOT start screaming and threatening law suits while you are alone at the side of the road. You DO NOT make quick movements to hide anything. You DO NOT throw anything out the window. You DO NOT reach for a stick of gum. You DO remain calm and answer the basic questions the officer asks.
Many people don’t realize that when a police officer pulls you over only to give a traffic ticket, he cannot detain you any longer than is necessary to write that citation and let you go. Before he writes the ticket and hands it to you, he can ask you if there is anything illegal in the car. He can ask you to search the car. If you give consent, all defenses are lost.
Always remember to remain calm and keep your lawyer’s number on speed dial. If arrested, your story and his will always be different. Hopefully you had a witness with you who didn’t get arrested. Our slogan “Keep Calm, Don’t Talk, and Call your Lawyer”, is always the best policy.