In our last post we focused on reasons why a Toronto police officer might pull a vehicle over. Since under certain circumstances a traffic stop can lead to serious criminal charges, how the stop is handled is important as well.
It is fair to say that once pulled over, no one wants to do anything that will get them into trouble. But just what are your rights if you are pulled over by law enforcement? In this post we will focus on the topic.
When a police officer pulls you over, the best course of action is to:
- Immediately come to a safe stop
- Remain in your vehicle
- Turn on the vehicle’s interior lights
- Roll your window down
- Place your hands on the steering wheel
Under the law, the driver of the vehicle must produce proof of ownership and insurance, as well as a valid driver’s licence. Though no one in the car is required to answer any questions, doing so politely could make a difference in the outcome of the stop. In most stations the passenger will not be required to provide identification.
Under certain circumstances, such as when a police officer believes the driver is impaired, he or she may be ordered out of the vehicle. Once out, the driver may be asked to perform a sobriety test or roadside breath test. In Canada, the only other time that an officer is supposed ask a driver to leave his or her vehicle is when there is something that causes them to be afraid for their safety.
If you are arrested in the course of a traffic stop and charged with a crime it is important to contact a lawyer in a timely manner.