Massachusetts Legal Developments Blog

How to Respond if Massachusetts Police Stop Your Vehicle

Massachusetts law enforcement recently performed an arrest after a vehicle was stopped. A man was arrested by state police who were patrolling State Street. Law enforcement claims that they saw a Ford Taurus pass without lights on. Due to the absence of lights, the license plate at times was unreadable. As a result, law enforcement decided to perform a stop. 

After being stopped, law enforcement performed an electronic search of the vehicle’s registration. After this search was complete, law enforcement came closer to the Taurus where the operator was seen grabbing for something in the center console of the vehicle. 

Law enforcement states that the driver was recognized as the vehicle’s registered owner and had a record of various violations involving firearms as well as battery. This as well as reaching into the center console led to law enforcement removing the man from the car to make sure that no weapons were either on his body or in immediate reach. 

Law enforcement then performed a search of the man’s person which led to locating five bundles of heroin that contained 10 packets each. Law enforcement also found a bundle with five packets as well as a small bag containing crack cocaine. 

The man was then arrested and an examination of the vehicle he was driving was performed. In the vehicle, law enforcement discovered nine other bags containing pills labeled as Xanax, a container with various Massachusetts driver's licenses, bank cards, and a knife. The man now faces various drug charges.

If Massachusetts law enforcement pulls you over, the way that you respond and how you act can have a substantial impact on how the case proceeds. 

When You Notice the Police Vehicle Behind You

If a police vehicle is behind you and the officer indicates in any way that you should pull over, you should make sure to do so. Pulling over for the police does not represent an admission of guilt, but simply means that you are attentive and responsive to your surroundings. It shows you are willing to cooperate. 

How to Respond Immediately After Your Stop

Once you have pulled over to a safe location, you should shut off your vehicle’s engine. You should then roll down the vehicle’s window. You should refrain from smoking, chewing gum, eating, or drinking. Some people even place their hands on the steering wheel. If it is dark, you might turn on the vehicle’s interior light. All these actions help to lessen any fears the involved officer might have.

Be Prepared to Get Out of Your Vehicle

The 1977 United States Supreme Court case of Pennsylvania v. Mimms states that a law enforcement officer who stops a driver can insist that the driver, as well as any passengers, get out of the vehicle. You should ask the involved law enforcement officer if you should get out of your vehicle and do so if requested. You should also understand that law enforcement will likely view any refusal to follow orders as a potential threat or flight risk.

Contact a Massachusetts Drug Crime Defense Attorney

If you or a loved one has been charged with a drug crime in Massachusetts, you can end up facing some serious penalties. One of the best ways to respond in such a situation is to promptly obtain the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney. Contact attorney Edward R Molari today to schedule a free case evaluation.