Always remember that your actions have consequences, so how you behave or interact with the police when you are pulled over or arrested can have an impact on your case, sometimes for the better, and sometimes for the worse. Therefore, it is always a good idea to act and behave in a respectful, safe manner at all times when interacting with officers of the law.
WHAT TO DO IF PULLED OVER OR ARRESTEDAlways exercise safe driving practices and pull over in a controlled manner. You don’t want to travel far if an officer has his or her lights on behind you. You should use common sense and some critical thought to ensure you pull over somewhere that will be safe for you and the officer. For example, do not over in the middle of a dangerous intersection or busy highway, etc.
Remember, the officer does not know you in most cases, and for their own safety they must exercise caution in every traffic stop. Make it easy on them by placing both your hands on top of the steering wheel so that the officer can clearly see them.
Avoid any sudden movements while the officer is approaching your vehicle and during your interaction with her or him.
It is extremely important to declare any weapons that may be in your vehicle. Tell the officer about them right up front in the beginning of your interaction with the officer. Remember that kindness goes a long way in most situations in life, so be polite and courteous. Keep in mind that you do not have to give the officer any information other than your name and the information that is on your driver’s license, insurance card, or registration.
Never answer any questions about what happened unless a lawyer is present. Decline answering the officer’s question in a respectful manner so as not to be seen as combative. If you are faced with an officer’s question that is probing for information such as why you ‘drove through a red light’ or ‘failed to stop fully at a stop sign,’ etc., decline to answer but do so politely. You might respond with something such as, “My apologies, officer, but I have been advised to avoid answering any questions.”
Do not lie to an officer. The truth will usually come out and it can certainly hurt your case later.
It is your legal right to refuse any field sobriety tests and depending on your particular situation you may want to exercise that right. Additionally, you have the legal right to refuse a breathalyzer test at the scene. But it should be noted that under Kansas implied consent laws, a refusal to submit to a breath test at the police station or at jail could result in a more severe suspension and/or restriction of your driver’s license, so consult an attorney as quickly as possible.
If you’ve been arrested or charged with a crime, remember that the prosecutor will have the full might of the state behind him or her. You deserve to have an experienced, qualified Kansas criminal defense attorney to fight for you and your rights. Please contact us to today.
by John W. Kerns, JD
Hillary Stirling, research assistant
These articles are for general informational use and do not constitute legal advice. Since laws change over time, it’s possible some articles are out of date and for that reason, we make no representation that the articles are fully accurate. For actual, up-to-date legal advice (including a free consultation), please contact us!