What To Do When You're Pulled Over
An experienced attorney can help
If you have been drinking and driving in South Carolina, getting pulled over by the police can be a scary situation, especially during holidays or major events when police can be extra aggressive. But when the blue lights start flashing, your only option is to pull over.
Routine traffic stops are a common part of driving. However, if you were arrested and believe you were treated unfairly during a traffic stop, attorney Matt Bodman can help you set the record straight. Contact us today and find out how we can help you.
What you should do when you're pulled over
- Put on your hazard lights and pull to the right side of the road. The best place to pull over is the right shoulder of the road, out of traffic. If there is nowhere to pull over, pull into the nearest parking lot or similar area for the safety of you and the officer.
- Turn off your engine, stay in your car and roll down the driver's side window. If you're pulled over at night, make sure you turn on your dome light. Always stay in the car and keep your hands on the steering wheel. Putting your hands in your pockets, searching through your glove compartment or getting out of your vehicle can give the officer the impression that you're aggressive or hiding something. Don't do anything until the officer asks for your license and registration.
- Be polite, remain calm and don't argue with the officer. It's best to find out why you were pulled over, even if you don't believe that you violated any traffic laws. If you were mistakenly pulled over, you can later dispute any issued citations in court. Any signs of nervousness may put a police officer on edge and give the impression that you're guilty of something. If you're in possession of a firearm, you are obligated by law to inform the officer. Don't try to reach for the registration in your glove box until you have full permission to do so.
- Don't consent to a vehicle search without a probable cause. Police will usually look for suspicious objects that can be viewed in plain sight. If they have any reason to believe that you have something illegal in your vehicle, they may be able to conduct a search. If a police officer simply asks if they can search your vehicle, you have the right to not consent to a search.
The harsh consequences of a DUI
Under South Carolina's implied consent law, you may refuse to take a breath test, blood test or urine test following a DUI arrest. Refusing to do so can have consequences, however, which could include:
- 1st Offense: 6-month license suspension
- 2nd Offense: 9-month license suspension
- 3rd Offense: 1-year license suspension
In the event that you have been charged with a DUI following a traffic stop, you need an experienced DUI defense attorney who can help protect your rights. As a former prosecutor, attorney Matt Bodman knows how the system works.
In South Carolina, a DUI arrest can result in a misdemeanor, which can land you in jail and stay on your record. Attorney Bodman understands the harsh consequences a DUI can have on your life, and he'll fight for your freedom to the fullest extent of the law.
Contact us today for a free consultation, or simply call toll free at (866) 487-9077.