When the Police Approach You

What you do when the police approach you can be used as a basis to stop you, search you, and arrest you. As a New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyer, I am often confronted with a case where what my client did do, would have been a MV violation like speeding or a very low-level criminal offense that could easily be resolved with a fine…and because of what my client did as the police approached them (like driving away) they end up charged with a criminal offense that exposes them to serious consequences like prison. It may have seemed like a good idea to my clients at the time, but obstructing the administration of law by eluding the police can make the outcome of the case far more serious. When the police approach you after signaling you to stop, make certain you pull your vehicle over in a safe manner in an area where you will not be creating a risk to you, the officer or the other passerby. Have your credentials ready, and answer the questions asked without volunteering information the officer is not asking about. Driving is a privilege, not a right, and you want to minimize the consequences for what you did do to the consequences for the violation you actually did. Remember, that what the officer can see, smell or hear while standing next to your vehicle can be used to further their investigation, so you want to limit the time the officer is next to you to the reason for the stop.

Howard W. Bailey, Esq.
24 Commerce Street, Suite 1000
Newark, NJ 07102