The best advice to avoid being involved in a traffic stop drug bust is to avoid being pulled over in the first place with drugs on you. If you do find yourself in a traffic stop drug bust, stay cool, and consider these useful principles:
Never try to run or escape
As soon as you see the blue and red lights come on, you should pull over as soon as possible, remaining inside your vehicle at all times. You should definitely pull over in a way that will be most likely to calm down an angry or annoyed traffic enforcer, using your turn signal to suggest any lane changes from left to right, and slowing down quite quickly. Pull over as far to the right as possible so that, when the enforcer comes up to your window, he or she won’t have to worry about being hit by vehicles in the right lane.
You must never present the officer a good reason to charge you with evading arrest. Several times an arresting officer may generally pull you over for a traffic violation, and after you are given a ticket, allow you to go without further questioning. You may want to return to that area later to make sure the officer was saying the truth about how he or she evaluated your speed, observed your turn, or witnessed any other offense.
Right after you stop
In order to gain favor with the officer, you must show him or her a few other token courtesies. To lessen any preemptive fears an officer may keep, begin by completely turning off the engine, rolling down your window all the way, setting your hands on the steering wheel, and, if it’s dark, turning on your interior light fixture.
Wait for the officer to provide you instructions. Never start searching through your back pocket for your wallet and license, or searching through your glove compartment for your registration. You should also refrain from keeping your hands in your pockets or reaching under the seat. This is probably the fastest way to get searched because, for all the police officer knows, you could be reaching for a handgun. The officer may use safety as a reason to search you if he or she thinks you are carrying drugs or engaged in other illegal activities.
This is the number one reason that police list as their reason for conducting a search without seeing or smelling drugs. The police will mention that you made a “furtive movement and he was worried you might have a weapon.” Unless there is a video recording, it is your word against the officer and 9.5 times out of 10, a prosecutor, judge, or jury will believe the officer over the accused.
Be polite to the officer.
If you communicate in the right manner to an officer and show courtesy, then you have a much better possibility of him or her not suspecting that you are engaged in illegal activities. Don’t speak first, especially starting off the conversation in a defensive or unwelcoming manner. The officer will probably ask to see your license and vehicle registration. Don’t insist that the officer quickly tell you why you were stopped. Just simply reply “okay” or “sure,” then hand over the documents. Be diplomatic and well-mannered; however, this does not mean disclosing all the contents of your car or person when asked. Chances are that if you never tell him there is a pound of marijuana in the trunk, he will never have an excuse to look for it.
While in police training, traffic cops learn to decide, before leaving their vehicle, whether they’re going to give a ticket or just a warning. Some may act as though they still haven’t made up their minds and are going to let you off only if you’ll work together, like consenting to a search. The hesitating officer may be trying to appear open-minded in order to extract admissions out of you, to use them against you in court if necessary. Don’t fall for this.
Turn down consent to search you or your car
If police ask to search you, your car, or other property, it means that they do not have a legal right to search. You should never believe that if you say yes, the officer will just assume you don’t have anything to hide and leave you alone. If you say yes to a search, then you are offering the officer “consent” and that is all he needs for a legal search. More often than not, giving your consent to search will result in the officer immediately and thoroughly searching your car, finding the hidden drugs, and then carting you off to jail.
Even if the police threaten to get a drug dog or a warrant, always tell them “no” to a search. If you do so, there is a pretty good possibility that by the time the drug dog gets there or for a judge to sign a warrant, you will have been confined for an unreasonable amount of time– longer than the law permits, breaching your rights. In this case, the drugs found will be immediately thrown out by a judge at trial as evidence, resulting in you winning your case.
Do not confess to ANYTHING.
You have heard it before in countless police dramas: your right to remain silent. Use this advice. The corollary of Miranda warnings is that the prosecution can not use a suspect’s silence as evidence of guilt in a court of law– otherwise the warnings would be pointless. The arresting police officer may act like your buddy, but he or she is never going to like you so much that they throw away the drugs and let you go.
Usually, police will try to sympathize with your predicament, or try to get you to acknowledge guilt by making out like that it’s “no big deal.” On the contrary, this is a huge deal! All the arresting officer is trying to do is get you to admit guilt and establish a case against you by allowing him find the drugs.
Even if drugs are found, confessing they are yours does not support your case. Even if drugs are found in your car the burden is still on the police to forge an “affirmatively link” to you.
Hire a good lawyer
If your traffic stop results in the drugs being found and your eventual arrest, at this point, there is clearly nothing that you can do or say that will help make the cop change his mind. The only thing left to do, and conceivably the most important thing, is to find a competent lawyer. You should do this right away, as soonCategories:
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