WV Civil Rights Lawyer

Police Misconduct, Civil Rights Law

A WV Criminal Defense Attorney’s advice on how not to handle a traffic stop

Sometimes I give out free advice, such as my lecture on keeping one’s mouth shut.  Here is another.  At some point in your life you are going to be pulled over by a cop who treats you like crap.  He will either be really young, or will be older and act like a Marine drill sergeant.  He will talk down to you.  He will talk really loudly.  He may ask you personal questions.  You may feel provoked to run your mouth, or to insert a snide comment.

Although he may deserve it, do not say what you want to say.  Do not ask for his badge number (you can find that out after the fact if necessary – his identity will almost never be a mystery).  Do not ask for a supervisor.  Just say, “yes sir” and be polite and cooperative – even if he is not.  And then drive off as soon as he lets you.

Chances are, if he is being a jerk to you, he is capable of arresting you illegally.  They can arrest you for obstruction and/or resisting arrest merely by claiming that you refused to obey his lawful orders.  Then it is up to you after-the-fact to try and fight your way out of it.  Worse yet, maybe he says you took a swing at him.  Then you get charged with assault or battery on an officer.   It’s your word versus his, and his dash cam was conveniently inoperable.  At the very best you end up having to pay a criminal defense attorney to get you out of the mess, and a year later, get it expunged.  At worse, you end up at trial, and potentially get convicted.  Then maybe you appeal, etc.  It all could have been avoided.

Of course, if you have already done this and now have to pay huge sums of money to a West Virginia criminal defense attorney, it might as well be me (1-888-54-JBLAW – available statewide [shameless plug]).

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September 30, 2010 - Posted by | Police, Vehicular Crimes

1 Comment »

  1. I once heard it put something like this: No matter how much you want to stand up for yourself and represent, there is probably no worse place to do it than stopped on the side of the road by an armed cop.

    Comment by Windypundit | October 1, 2010 | Reply


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