The holidays, while merry and bright for some, bring about stress and frustration for others. Around this time of year, there is an increase in the number of cars on the road around El Paso as well as drivers speeding in an effort to get to their destination. The combination of intense emotions along with traffic can elevate the situation, eventually resulting in a collision. Additionally, around the holiday season, people tend to consume more alcohol. November and December are nationally known as the deadliest months for car accidents. It’s a serious matter that calls for action on behalf of drivers and passengers. Doing your part to keep the roads safe means driving sober, driving with caution, and always being courteous to other drivers.
So what if you’re doing your part to keep the roads safe and you get pulled over? Allow us to help you understand why this occurrence can be complicated but with the right legal assistance, the result will end in your favor.
Getting Pulled Over for ‘Reasonable Suspicion’
It’s important to first know that it’s not unlawful for a police officer to pull someone over without probable cause. According to the law, an officer can pull a driver over for reasonable suspicion. Defining reasonable suspicion is where it gets tricky. In basic terms, if an officer suspects you are doing something illegal, he or she can pull you over. If during the stop there is no evidence of a crime, then you should be allowed to go. A traffic stop should take no more than a couple of minutes.
Can Police Search Your Vehicle?
In many cases, police will request to search your vehicle. While the only time an officer should do this if he or she suspects illegal activity such as alcohol or drugs. Probable cause is what allows the officer to do so. Comply with the officer so that the situation does not escalate.
Upon initially being pulled over, the officer will request your driver’s license and proof of insurance. Comply with this information as you are required by law to provide these documents. However, the questioning in many cases should not further than that. If the officer begins to ask you investigative questions such as “Where are you headed?” you do not need to answer them. While you don’t want to be rude or confrontational with the officer, it is not considered a crime to decline to answer these questions.
What if You are Asked to Exit the Vehicle
Remain in your vehicle at all times. The only time you should get out is if the officer asks you to do so. Again, probable cause will apply here. Knowing that you are not at fault of any crime can feel extremely frustrating. However, not complying rarely has any advantages. Know that you have the right to record the incident. You can hit record on your phone’s camera and place it in a spot where you are able to capture the event as it plays out.
Speak With a Traffic Violations Attorney in El Paso
If you feel that your rights have been violated, speak to a traffic violations attorney right away. An attorney will help you seek legal action for the wrongful stop. At the Aaronson Law Firm, we have the experience necessary to handle your case. Connect with us today to learn more.