Larry Brown Jr.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone pulled over for a traffic stop, what would it be?

“There are so many different variables involved in a stop. Where is the stop occurring? Have you had anything to drink or used substances even a tiny amount? I guess, universally speaking, I would say stay in the car and roll down your window as soon as you stop. If readily available, have your license and registration out. When the officer comes to your window, smile and appear respectful and hand the officer your license and registration. Don’t answer any questions posed to you. Nod yes or no only and if pressed respectfully say in a respectful manner “I prefer to only speak with a lawyer present”. Respectfully refuse any roadside tests, period. Be cooperative with all requests to get out of your vehicle, to stand in a certain location and even to get arrested and put in their cruiser. Anything you say can and will be used against you. And tests are considered statements. Be calm and collected and don’t be tricked into doing anything just because you are worried about going to jail or getting a ticket. Waiving your rights or giving permission to violate your rights will only increase your likelihood of getting a ticket or going to jail. Nothing that is asked of you is done to help you; it’s done to obtain incriminating evidence against you to justify the charge that’s coming. You don’t have to prove your innocence. They have to prove your guilt. Staying silent yet respectful makes that far more difficult.”

-- Larry Brown, Jr., Law Office of Larry Brown, P.C., Virginia, Colorado, and District of Columbia, practicing 27 years