What Questions Does a Person Have to Answer During A Traffic Stop?

Posted by Richard Lawson | Sep 01, 2014 | 4 Comments

How to Handle a Police Encounter:

During a traffic stop, you are required to provide a police officer their driver's license, registration, and proof of insurance.  However, police officers are trained to use an ordinary police encounter to investigate other crimes, particularly DUI.

A Hard and Fast Rule:

You should never answer any other question or participate in any investigation.

Never trust a police officer because they are  trained  to mistrust everyone with whom they interact.  For example, if you truthfully tell a police officer you had two beers, the officer will automatically think you are lying since everyone says “two beers.”

The arresting officer is trained to turn any interaction into an interrogation.  Here are some commonly asked questions:

  • From where are you coming?
  • How much did you have to drink?
  • Do you know how fast you were going?
  • Do you know why I pulled you over?
  • Do I have your consent to search your vehicle?

All of these questions are designed to turn an ordinary police encounter into a DUI investigation.  In fact the only thing you should ever say to a police officer are as follows:

  • Am I under arrest, or am I free to go?
  • You do not have permission to search my car.

When stopped do only the following things:

  • Pull over safely and use a turn signal;
  • Roll down your window;
  • Have your license, registration, and insurance card ready;
  • Be polite;
  • Sign the ticket if asked; it is not an admission of guilt to sign the ticket;
  • If you are asked to step out of the vehicle, ask the officer if you are under arrest or being detained?
  • Never submit to field sobriety testing, even if you are stone-cold sober.

Finally, if you are asked why you did something, such as weaving or speeding etc., simply tell the police officer that you made a mistake.  Do not ever give any other explanation.  The point of this article is that the police have already determined what, if anything, they plan to do before even interacting with you.  The police interaction and interrogation is designed to justify what they have already decided.

If you are charged with a traffic ticket in Georgia, call the Georgia Traffic Ticket Lawyers in our office.  Our Atlanta Traffic Ticket Lawyers are here to help 24/7.

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Managing Partner at Lawson & Berry:


AmeriTrust Group Reply

Posted Sep 02, 2014 at 13:35:52

Hi Richard, great article. One question though, does telling the officer you made a mistake constitute an admission of guilt??

Richard Lawson Reply

Posted Sep 02, 2014 at 13:37:35

I think you make a great point Ameritrust group. It could be used San an admission. The good part is that the admission is non-specific.

Phillip Reply

Posted Sep 11, 2014 at 20:53:12

Thanks for the post. I do have a question though, you say “If you are asked to step out of the vehicle, ask the officer if you are under arrest or being detained?” I presume you’re not suggesting ask questions instead of complying?

Richard Lawson Reply

Posted Sep 11, 2014 at 21:01:27

You have to comply to get out of your vehicle if you are being detained. So, you should certainly ask if you are being detained. Otherwise, you only have to supply requested documentation.

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