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What to do if an officer stops you for a traffic violation

It is never a good feeling to get pulled over for violating the law while driving. Sometimes, penalties for things such as going a small amount over the speed limit are not extremely harsh, particularly for first-time offenders. Penalties for DUIs, however, can be quite severe. Regardless of the reason for getting pulled over, there are certain measures to take to ensure that the situation goes as well as possible.

Here are some things you should keep in mind if an officer of the law stops you for a traffic violation in Virginia.

Acknowledge the officer’s presence

If the flashing lights of an officer’s car behind you are for you, pull over to the shoulder of the road or into a well-lit parking area as soon as possible. If there is no place to pull over immediately, acknowledge the officer’s presence by activating your right turn signal or hazard lights. This lets the officer know that you are planning on pulling over as soon as it is safe, and not attempting to evade or run from them.

Remain in your vehicle unless told otherwise

Once you have pulled over, place your hands on your steering wheel while talking with the police officer. This is so they know that you are not trying to reach for a weapon. You should also remain in your vehicle unless explicitly told to exit, as an officer may interpret leaving the car as an attempt to escape.

Knowing what to do if an officer stops you in traffic decreases the chances of the officer charging you with evading or resisting.