While driving on the way back from lunch yesterday in DeKalb County, Georgia, I was pulled over. Apparently I misjudged when a light was turning red.
As soon as I saw the blue lights I pulled over immediately. As soon as the officer arrived he was accusatory, wanting to know what I was thinking. It was at that moment I made the decision to de-escalate the situation.
I told the officer that I made a mistake. He again wanted to know how I could be so negligent (his words were somewhat more colorful). I again just said that I was wrong and made a mistake. I also said I understood why he pulled me over.
I made no excuse and accepted responsibility. Ultimately, he drove off without issuing me a ticket. I spent some time reflecting on what happened and wanted to share my observations.
Being a police officer is a difficult job filled with dangerous situations. I am certain police officers endure long days, difficult working conditions, and people who will not admit to the most basic truths. As a result, it colors their reactions with the general public. It causes veteran police officers to become aggressive and defensive when they interact with the public. I am sure if I was given excuses and lies on an hourly basis I would become rude and aggressive with others.
Additionally, it's important to understand that because of their jobs and experiences, police officers very often come to the mistaken conclusion that a person is questioning their authority when they are actually just asking legitimate questions. Remember this fact when dealing with a police officer.
Many of my clients tell me that they had a few questions during their arrest, and after they asked those questions, the police officer became extremely irritated. I have seen this time and time again.
When dealing with a police officer, here are some tips to remember:
- Pull over as quickly and safely as possible. Once pulled over, roll down your window and place your hands in the view of the police officer.
- Always acknowledge their authority. It's important to not only follow their lawful instructions but also acknowledge their actual authority.
- During a traffic stop, be honest. If you were speeding simply acknowledge it and admit you made a mistake.
- Remember if you have questions, ask them in a polite way. Make sure to ask them in a way that does not sound like you are questioning their judgment and authority.
- Finally, if you have are suspected of a crime other than a minor traffic offense, do not speak to the police at all. Simply tell them you are exercising your right to remain silent and your right to an attorney as well.
If you have been cited for a traffic ticket in Atlanta or throughout Georgia, call Atlanta Traffic Ticket Lawyer Richard Lawson. The Georgia Traffic Ticket Attorneys at his office are here to help you get the best possible outcome. Call now.