What to Do if You Get Pulled Over
When you’re pulled off the side of the road with flashing lights behind you, it can be difficult to know the best way to handle the situation. Luckily, there are some things you can do to keep calm and prepare for the best outcome possible.
- Have Paperwork Ready
As soon as you come to a stop, find your driver’s license and vehicle registration. These will likely be the first thing the officer asks you for and you may not even discuss what happened until your information has been checked. Keep the paperwork in a handy, safe place, like a jockey box, so you can quickly have it available.
- Immediately Roll Down Your Window
Don’t try to open your door if you get pulled over, simply roll the window down. Opening the door can cause unsafe situations for you and the police officer if there is moving traffic. It can also make officers worried since they don’t know why you’re getting out of the car. They may suspect that you are planning to run or be confrontational, so it’s best to leave your door shut and simply roll the window down.
- Be Polite and Respectful
Police officers already know that nobody likes to be pulled over, so they don’t need you to remind them. Their job is to keep people safe and make sure all drivers obey traffic laws. If you’ve made a mistake and broken a law, it’s fine to apologize or explain yourself, but never do so in a way that presents you as being confrontational or angry.
This rule is especially important in South Carolina courts because when you fight the ticket, the prosecuting officer is not a representative from the state, but the police officer who pulled you over. Remaining calm, apologetic and respectful can go a long way in affecting their opinion of you and the likelihood that you’ll be able to get the fees reduced or waived.
- Enlist Help Fighting the Ticket
If you find yourself facing criminal charges and need advice on how to proceed, consult an attorney who has experience fighting South Carolina traffic tickets. Additionally, if you don’t want to miss work or travel to appear in court yourself, your attorney can represent you and let you know the outcome once the case is completed.