Your stress level undoubtedly ratchets up immediately if you’re a New Jersey motorist suddenly startled by flashing red lights in your rear-view mirror.
That is a jarring and tension-laden experience, isn’t it? You might reasonably not know what to do other than to quickly pull over.
What’s your next move? Should you sit impassively and just wait for the detaining police officer to proactively engage you? Alternatively, should you begin searching the glove box for insurance documents? Should you get your license ready, open the door and step out of the car, maybe do something else? Your head is likely spinning.
Your angst and uncertainty are understandable. Legions of Americans suddenly forced to interact closely with a law enforcer do so with trepidation and uncertainty.
The first order of business is this: Take a breath, try to rein in that racing pulse and remain calm.
The bottom line concerning a traffic stop: a safe outcome
Here’s a point to duly consider regarding a traffic stop from a police officer’s perspective. That individual knows that a detained driver is likely a bit stressed, and wants – just as the motorist does – to ensure the stop plays out in a way that is neither dramatic nor confrontational. The optimal end result – whether a driver is ticketed or not – is that both the motorist and the officer civilly conclude the encounter and safely go on their respective ways.
Some instructional points for a detained New Jersey driver
Keeping just a few things in mind can help ensure for a detained motorist that a traffic stop unfolds in a safe and relatively calm manner.
For starters, there’s this tip: Don’t be argumentative or overtly defensive. Keeping things civil is an imperative.
A New Jersey government website spotlighting traffic stops and recommended motorist behaviors for ensuring safe outcomes makes several additional points as well.
It importantly notes, for example, that a detained driver should just sit and wait for an officer to approach his or her vehicle, not taking any actions until specifically directed to do so. Measured – not sudden – movements should be made. A driver who has duly provided requisite documentation does thereafter have the right to remain silent, although still required to follow instructions, including an order to step outside the vehicle.
A motorist does of course have the legal right to challenge ticket issuance and linked penalties, but the time to do so is without question not during a close encounter with a police officer.
A proven criminal defense attorney can provide further information and, when necessary, diligent representation in a traffic violations matter.