What To Do at a Traffic Stop

Criminal Defense Attorney Antonio D. Quinn, Esq. on Traffic Stops

As a criminal defense attorney in Broward and Palm Beach counties, I routinely meet with clients who are being charged with criminal offenses such as DUI after they have been stopped by the police for traffic violations.  In many instances, if equipped with the proper knowledge they may have been able to avoid their arrests altogether or could have done things to make their cases much more defensible.

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Conduct During a Roadside Traffic Stop

The following information is comprised of recommendations for Florida drivers.  It is not intended to be legal advice an no attorney-client relationship is formed by reading it.

Conduct and Demeanor:  Most Florida drivers are aware that becoming argumentative or belligerent with police officers during a traffic stop is not going to get them out of a traffic citation.  In fact that sort of behavior is likely to produce the opposite result.  Police officers have discretion with regard to who they arrest and being cooperative and polite can help minimize the chance that the person who they arrest is you.  Always be cooperative and civil even if you believe that the police officer is wrong.  Your lawyer is the proper person to challenge the legality of the officer's conduct.

Uniform Traffic Citations:  Refusal to sign a ticket in Florida is an arrestable offense.  Most law enforcement officers who work for agencies like Ft. Lauderdale, BSO, PBSO and Florida Highway Patrol are trained to warn you that refusal to sign can result in an arrest.  Signing a citation is not an admission of guilt and your lawyer can fight your ticket in court.

Field Sobriety Exercises:  If the officer who stopped you believes that you are impaired and want to conduct a DUI investigation they will start with field sobriety exercises.  If you have been drinking at all even if you think that you are sober, attempting roadside exercises is risky.  In Florida, police officers us the "walk and turn", the "finger to nose" and the "one leg stand" tests.  All of these can be difficult without practice and because they are voluntary you have the right to refuse.  You may still be arrested for DUI and your drivers license may be suspended but refusing will deprive the prosecution of video evidence that can be used against you in court.

Breath and Urine Tests:  If you have been arrested for DUI in Florida you will be asked to give a breath or urine sample.  If you are in doubt about your sobriety then it is advisable that you refuse.  Your drivers license will be suspended for 1 year for a first refusal and for 18 months for a second refusal which is a misdemeanor offense.  The benefit refusing to give a breath or urine sample is that you will be providing the police and the prosecution with less evidence to use against you when your case goes to court. 

Contact an Attorney:  Whether you were charged with DUI, a criminal traffic offense or a traffic violation, if you are intending to fight the charges or if you just want to ensure that your rights are protected, you should contact a criminal defense attorney immediately. 

Aggressive Fort Lauderdale criminal defense

If you have been stopped or arrested by the police, contact Quinn Law, P.A. right away to schedule a case evaluation at (954) 463-0440





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