I got pulled over by a police officer in New Jersey, now what?

Posted by: Larry Lavender on Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Imagine you’re driving home enjoying a conversation with your significant other after an enjoyable evening with friends. As you drive along minding your own business the red and blue police lights burst into your rearview mirror. They can’t be pulling me over, can they? You pull over, search for your license and registration and wait for officer friendly to approach your window.

What not to do

Do not be disrespectful to the officer. Police really don’t like to write tickets, but they will gladly write you up for everything they possibly can if you take an attitude with them. Don’t tell them that they work for you, don’t tell them you know so and so and how they will be sorry, and don’t tell them that they aren’t so tough without their badges. You do any of these things you are getting tickets… multiple. Also, don’t demand that they tell you why they pulled you over, they will tell you eventually, usually after you give them your license and registration.

What you should do

When the officer approaches your window be polite and be ready to hand him or her your license and registration. If you have a PBA card now is the time to hand it to the officer along with your license and registration. They officer may ask you how you know the officer on the PBA card. They may even ask you to call the person to prove that you really know him or her. So make sure you really know the person who gave you the PBA card.

The officer will tell you why you were stopped. Assume that the officer has a body camera on so don’t make any admissions. Whatever he tells you that you did, don’t admit to it. The time to fight the charge is later in court, not now. Your best chance to get away with a warning is to be polite. If the officer gives you a ticket or tickets just be polite and accept them. You still may need the officer as an ally when you go to court. Prosecutors will often ask the officer at the time of court if he or she has any objections to a downgrade to your charge or perhaps even a dismissal. You want the officer to remember how nice and polite you were at the time of the stop. If he remembers that you were a jerk he will likely tell the prosecutor “No Deals!!”

Off to court

In the event you are issued a ticket or tickets there will be a court date on the front of the ticket. Don’t wait until the day before the court date to hire an attorney. You should hire an attorney within a few days of receiving the ticket so that he or she has time to send a letter to the court stating that you are represented by an attorney. Don’t try to represent yourself. You are going to have a much better outcome by hiring an experienced attorney than trying to go it alone.

The office of Wiley Lavender P.C. has experienced attorneys who can help. You can meet with one of our attorneys for a free consultation.