Learn with a Lawyer: What do you do when the police pull you over?

Brandan Davies is a criminal defense lawyer in Overland Park, Kansas. Brandan assists clients with all types of criminal matters in all courts in Johnson County. Mr. Davies has been named as a Superlawyer, Top 100 Trial Lawyers by the National Trial Lawyers Association and is A/V Rated for his Criminal Law Practice.

What you do or say should depend largely on what you are doing, what you are being accused of and how you are being treated. Before we dive too deep here you have to remember that being a law enforcement officer is not an easy job. Cops are highly scrutinized and their job is inherently dangerous and stressful. You always need to remember when you interact with a police officer that you don’t know anything about how their day has went. Start off any interaction as pleasant and non-confrontational as possible.

If you’re pulled over for a traffic violation: When these interactions take place you need to remember that an officer has discretion as to whether they give you a traffic ticket or not, so be nice. Also remember that if you are doing anything else illegal, that is more serious than a traffic violation, you should try to not attract anymore attention to yourself or the illegal behavior. Plenty of people get pulled over for a traffic violation with drugs in the car and instead of just taking the ticket and leaving as soon as possible they try to talk their way out of the ticket. While they are trying to talk their self out of trouble and end up prolonging the interaction with the officer until the officer gets more suspicions, ultimately ending in a search and a drug charge.

If the most trouble you are possibly facing is a traffic violation feel free to give a quick explanation to the officer or simply just say you’re sorry and made a mistake. Officers appreciate an honest “Sorry” and will sometimes give you a break. If they issue you a ticket make sure to be polite, accept the ticket and be on your way. If you are later asking the prosecutor to “fix” the ticket to keep it off your records you don’t want a note from the officer that says you were a jerk to the officer, as it will hurt your chances with the prosecutor.

If you’re pulled over and suspected of DUI

First off you should never drink and drive, but if you make a mistake and get behind the wheel after drinking or even after having a single drink you need to be prepared. Officers are trained specifically to detect impaired drivers and will always err on the side of caution when they think someone is impaired. The training they have is imperfect and the devices they use to measure alcohol are imperfect. Plenty of times officers mistake other conditions for an impaired driver, only to arrest them and have them take a breath test that reads all zeros. That being said, if you have been drinking there is little benefit to submitting to any tests that an officer asks you to perform. The tests an officer will ask you to do are complex and subjectively scored. If you never take a test then an officer can never say you failed it. The tests are designed to solicit information used to incriminate you, there is no pass or fail, only indications of impairment. Every experienced DUI Lawyer will tell you to refuse all tests and you’ll have a lot better case to fight if you are arrested on suspicion of DUI.

With decades of experience on our side, the attorneys at Roth Davies are proud to serve individuals across the Overland Park area on issues related to personal injury, family law, divorce law and criminal defense. We’re here to help you find a solution.