Failure to follow the directions or hand signals of a Police Officer is a moving violation in New Jersey (and in every other State, too). The police can then pull your car over, and what they see while your car is stopped is considered in ‘plain view’. Your actions can give the police the probable cause they needed to detain you if they suspect something as a result. At a minimum you end up with several traffic tickets that will result in points on your license, plus Court costs and fines. If the roadside stop results in the discovery of anything that the officer believes is related to any other criminal act — a gun, a crowbar, e.g. — that “evidence” can be seized and you can be arrested and charged with those offenses. Calling attention to yourself by failing to follow the signals of a police presence, doing something different than what you had been doing just because you see an officer (like suddenly slowing down in traffic when you had been speeding) is just as obvious to the cops as you not following their signal when they are directing traffic. One of the first lines of inquiry a defense lawyer looks at while defending you is the ‘basis for the stop’. When your own conduct invites the stop, you lose that argument to reduce or eliminate the consequences of your actions. Be mindful of police signaling and a police presence especially when he’s in the center of the road, ostensibly in harm’s way. Making a maneuver that will endanger him at worse, or tick him off for being inattentive, will get you pulled over by one angry cop!
SPECIALIZING IN CRIMINAL DEFENSE THROUGHOUT NEW JERSEY
Howard W. Bailey, Esq.
550 Broad Street, Suite 601
Newark, NJ 07102
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