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What to Expect at a Rockville Traffic Stop

Typically, if an officer pulls an individual over for a traffic offense in Rockville, they will ask that individual for their license and registration. The officer will also inform the individual of the reason for which they pulled him or her over.

Upon reviewing the individual’s license and registration, the officer will either issue the individual a citation, or issue a verbal warning.

Initial Stop

When an individual first sees a police car with a siren activated, the first step they should take is to pull over quickly and safely to the side of the road. It is important that they pull as far to the right shoulder as possible. If the road does not have a shoulder, they should pull into an area in which their car does not block the flow of traffic. If a police officer signals for an individual to pull over at night, that individual should pull into an area that is well-lit.

While looking for a safe place to pull over, an individual should use their turn signal or hazard lights to notify the officer that they are complying with the officer’s request to stop the vehicle. Once an individual has pulled over, they should roll down their window and turn off the vehicle’s engine. If an individual is pulled over at night, they should also turn on their vehicle’s interior light.

After the Vehicle is Pulled Over

It is important that the driver keeps their hands in plain sight of the officer’s view at all times so that the officer does not get the impression that the individual is reaching for a weapon. An individual should not reach for any documents unless they are instructed to do so by the officer. It is also important that the individual remains in their vehicle while speaking with the officer, unless the officer instructs them to do otherwise.

Upon approaching a vehicle, an officer will typically ask for the driver’s license and registration. These documents should always be given to the officer, who will use them to review the driver’s information in a computer database. The officer may also ask questions regarding the specific regulation that they believe the driver violated, such as, “Do you know why I pulled you over?” or, “Do you know how fast you were traveling?” This is typical as to what an individual should expect at a Rockville traffic stop.

Corresponding with the Officer

During a traffic stop in Rockville, a driver is not required to answer an officer’s questions. However, it is important that the driver be polite and cooperative, as rude behavior could be used against them at a scheduled hearing. Moreover, a driver should never admit that they were speeding, as such an admission could also be used against them at a hearing.

If asked, “Do you know that you were speeding?” a driver should politely respond that they do not wish to answer the question. It is crucial that a driver knows what to expect during this part of a Rockville traffic stop, as their answers could determine the direction of their case.

The driver should not ask the officer any questions, unless they are unsure of the regulation for which they have been pulled over for violating.

Ensuring the Officer’s Validity

If the driver is unsure whether or not the individual who pulled them over is a police officer, they should politely ask to see the officer’s photo identification and badge. If the driver remains unsure, they may request that the officer call their supervisor or ask that they be allowed to follow the officer to the nearest police station.

The officer will either issue the driver a verbal warning or a citation. If the officer issues the driver a citation, the driver will be asked to sign the citation. Once this process is complete, the driver is free to go.

Mistakes to Avoid

The biggest mistake an individual should avoid during a traffic stop is making incriminating statements that may hurt their case at a later scheduled hearing. Such statements include admissions regarding knowledge of their speed, as well as any statements that may be perceived as threatening or aggressive towards the police officer. Here, it is important to note that, if an officer becomes fearful for their well-being, they may search the driver’s vehicle and/or their person.

Thus, it is important that an individual who has been pulled over by a police officer be polite for the duration of the traffic stop. In so doing, they will prevent negative consequences both during the traffic stop and at a later scheduled hearing.