We have all been there. You are riding along when suddenly blue lights flash in your rearview mirror. You get a sick feeling at the pit of your stomach and wonder what it is you have done and what it will mean for you.
Do not worry, most North Carolina Traffic Citations can easily be handled by Traffic Ticket Lawyer Raleigh M. Moseley Matheson with little to no consequence beyond court costs and fines. Mr. Matheson can help you, depending on your driving record, to avoid insurance rate hikes in most of the more common charges. In fact, in certain instances there is the possibility of having the charges dismissed completely. So, whether you got a speeding ticket in North Carolina, or some other traffic ticket, and you are searching for Raleigh Traffic Attorneys, contact the Matheson & Associates to discuss your ticket for free.
The Traffic Stop
If pulled over, the officer should be pulling you over for some violation of North Carolina Traffic Law. That could include a faulty light, speeding, or even a suspicion of Driving While Intoxicated in N.C.. Whether its a checkpoint or you’ve been pulled over, the first thing the officer will do is approach your vehicle and ask for your license and registration. If there’s been an accident, the officer will try and determine if anyone needs medical attention. Once medical attention is administered or determined not to be necessary, the officer will investigate the accident.
Options Available when Stopped
Obviously, if an officer attempts to pull you over, you are obligated to comply with the stop. The best thing you can do is slowly and gently pull off to the side of the road, or onto an adjoining road, at the nearest location you can do so safely.
Once stopped, if the officer asks for your driver’s license and/or registration, you are required to comply. These pieces of information are required to drive and therefore must be produced when asked for by an officer.
If the officer asks you other questions, normally dealing with where you have come from, where you are headed, or how much you have had to drink, you are NOT OBLIGATED to answer these questions.
It is in your best interest to politely and respectfully decline to answer these questions if you have been drinking. DO NOT LIE! DO NOT BE RUDE! Remember that regardless of your circumstances, the officer is only performing their job; it is not personal. A good option would be to answer along the lines of “I respectfully decline to answer your questions.”
If you are arrested the best thing you can do is politely and respectfully comply, but DO NOT SAY ANYTHING! It is a common misconception that if you are not read the Miranda Warning upon your arrest, your statements cannot be used against you. THAT IS WRONG! You cannot be QUESTIONED after arrest without the Miranda Warning being read to you.
Even after you are Mirandized, you still should NOT answer any questions. The officers will normally ask you questions meant to serve two purposes:
- To illicit admissions from you that can be used against you in trial
- To secure acknowledgements from you that will negate or invalidate certain defenses you may have had.
Often these types of questions appear on a questionnaire. Whether they are filling it out, or asking you to fill it out, you are are NOT OBLIGATED to answer these questions.
Booking and Release
After the arrest, you will be booked and go before a Magistrate. The Magistrate will make a determination as to whether to set bond or not and will advise you of your charges and your rights; including your right to counsel.
If not before, now is the time to contact a Raleigh DWI Lawyer to review your case. You will find there are many Raleigh Lawyers out there, and you should find the one you are comfortable with. Contact lawyer Raleigh M. Moseley Matheson at 919-335-5291 today for your FREE CONSULTATION!
Throughout this page, as well as others, you will notice a common theme: be polite and respectful to the police officers. Beyond the fact that it is just good manners, it serves an additional, important role. In most North Carolina Criminal Cases, if it comes before a Judge for sentencing, he or she will likely ask the Police Officer whether you were polite and cooperative. Regardless of your opinion of how the officer handles you during your stop and arrest, always remain polite and respectful.