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How to handle a traffic stop without making it worse

If you are the opinion that being stopped by the police is unpleasant, you are certainly not alone. Indeed, being accused of breaking the law is hard enough. Being questioned about your whereabouts, if you knew how fast you were going, and whether you have been drinking can lead to disaster.

With that said, this post will focus on how to handle a traffic stop in Florida. An important caveat, the following blog post is not legal advice. If you have additional questions about what may lead to more trouble after a DUI stop, including federal drug trafficking charges, an experienced criminal defense attorney can advise you. 

Know about probable cause – In order for a police officer to make an arrest, he or she must have a reasonable, articulable suspicion that a crime has been committed. This is done by asking a number of penetrating questions to ascertain more information about your physical state and whether you have been drinking. So knowing why an officer may ask you questions can help in handling yourself during the stop.

Make no admissions – Making admissions is tantamount to saying that you’re guilty. Since guilt is determined in a court of law, and not on the street, you should avoid making admissions when answering questions. So, for example, if an officer next asks if you have been drinking, you may say “why do you ask?” Answering a question with a request for more information is neither an admission nor a refusal to answer an officer’s question (which could lead to further questions).

Be polite – Deference and respect towards an officer should be obvious, but you would be surprised by how many DUI cases are initiated when a driver is short and disrespectful to an officer. 

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How to handle a traffic stop without making it worse | Frank A. Rubino, Esq.