Any time you are pulled over for a traffic violation you should expect to be sitting in your car for a while. If you have been speeding this will seem like an inconvenience, especially if you were driving over the limit because you were already running late to your destination. No one enjoys sitting in their car while the police officer runs your plates and/or license to check your record and the situation can escalate if you are asked to step out of your vehicle. The longer you are detained the longer the police have to come up with a reason for the stop and to issue you a citation.
Whether you are being pulled over for DUI, speeding, or some other traffic offense the general rule is that the police cannot hold you longer than is reasonable. The problem is that the definition of reasonable changes from case to case. Here are some common types of stops and a quick overview of what to expect:
- DUI: if you are pulled over on suspicion of drinking and driving you can expect to take a field sobriety test and/or asked to blow into a breathalyzer. This can take a while, and if the results are positive you can be arrested for DUI. Upon arrest your license will be taken from you and your car might be impounded. In order to get your license back and get your car out of the impound lot you have to act fast. You only have ten days after the arrest to seek a review of the license revocation and the longer you let your car sit at the lot the more you will have to pay to get it out.
- Speeding: if you are pulled over for speeding the wait time to be on your way is less than with a DUI or at an accident. That said you should still expect to spend some time answering questions and providing your license and registration/insurance information. What you should not expect is to have your car searched, but this might depend on your demeanor and whether there are things present that lead the police to believe another crime has been committed. For instance, if your eyes are bloodshot or there are odors of substances coming from your car the police will believe they have reasonable cause to hold you long enough to search your car.
- Reckless driving: this type of stop usually involves other violations such as drinking and driving or speeding. The length of time you might be detained for a reckless driving charge will depend on whether the authorities have other suspicions and perform a search of your vehicle or ask you to submit to a breath test.
Any type of traffic stop will cause you to have to wait before you are either arrested or told you can be on your way. The key is to answer the police officer’s questions honestly, without elaboration. If you are facing any type of traffic charge or DUI call us for help. We have experience in all sorts of traffic related matters and will aggressively pursue every legal remedy available in your case.
For help with criminal defense, call a competent criminal defense attorney in Stuart and the Treasure Coast for help. We offer representation for a wide range of offenses, call us to schedule an appointment.