Police stops can cause any person a huge amount of stress and anxiety. This is because many times stops lead to consequences like fines, time in court, and points on a driving record. In current times, there is also a heightened fear of escalation that can result in much scarier outcomes for the driver. Much of the anxiety that comes from police stops is the factor of the unknown, so knowing more about police stops may help to reduce some of this anxiety in the future. You can learn more on this page.
Connecticut Stop Statistics
According to 2019 Connecticut statistics, traffic stops are most common from 12:00 AM-1:00 AM, 8:00 AM-12:00 PM, and 4:00 PM-7:00 PM and are more common in the summer months than other times of the year. Speeding is the most common basis for police vehicle stops, and 88% of stops are classified as motor vehicle violations. The most likely outcome of traffic stops was an infraction ticket, and the second most common outcome was a verbal warning.
It is important to remember that police officers have certain duties that they are to uphold when interacting with civilians, even those suspected of breaking the law. Every stopped driver has constitutional rights that protect them from things like unreasonable stops and seizures.
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However, the reality is that sometimes police officers make decisions that violate these rights and even put a civilian’s safety in jeopardy. It is the police officer’s job to make sure that these things do not happen. However, there are also certain actions and inactions that a driver can do to minimize the risk of harm and increase their personal safety when interacting with the police.
What to Do
First, every driver must do their best to remain calm and listen carefully to the officer’s instructions. After being stopped, you should turn the car off, turn on the internal car lights, roll the window down and place your hands on the wheel in front of you so that they are both visible.
Do not make any sudden movements, do not resist, do not lie to the officer, and do not give the officer false information. If the police officer asks you to take field sobriety tests or asks questions about where you have been, you have the right to decline. However, you should decline to do so in a respectful manner.
Second, you should understand and be firm in advocating your own rights. You have the right to remain silent, though you must provide your name and license if the officer requests that from you. You also have the right to decline a search of yourself and your car.
The police have certain exceptions for searching, such as searching your body for a weapon. However, it is never a bad idea to still exercise your rights by stating that you do not consent. You have the right to remain silent when asked questions about your citizenship, where you were born, or how you entered into the country. If you are arrested, you have the right to remain silent and ask for a lawyer.
Third, it is important to recognize when your rights have been violated and what steps to take if you believe that this has happened. If an officer has injured you, you should request medical attention immediately if you are detained, and if you were not detained, you should immediately seek medical attention and take photos of your injuries. As soon as you have the opportunity, you should write down your entire interaction with the police and record everything that you remember, including witness contact information, officer names and badge numbers, and the police agency.
Lastly, you should contact a civil rights attorney to discuss what happened and see if there is further action that you can take. If you were arrested for DUI, you should contact a DUI lawyer as well.