Everyone gets pulled over eventually. Sometimes it’s because of a perceived violation, other times it’s because the officer noticed something rote about the car and needs to either confirm your safety or inform you of an unsafe situation (for example, if you have a broken head- or tail light).
The most important thing to remind yourself is that whatever you have been pulled over for, it likely isn’t criminal. You are not likely to be arrested or taken to jail – so relax, stay calm, and follow this simple list of dos and don’ts.
- Pull over as quickly as possible when the lights come on – showing compliance from the start will put the officer more at ease.
- Put the car in park and turn off the radio. Make sure your car is as far off the road as possible and set your hazards to blink.
- Wait patiently for the officer to approach the vehicle. Keep your hands on the steering wheel. Reach slowly for paperwork when it is requested.
- Open the window just enough to communicate easily and exchange paperwork. Address the officer with respect at all times. You want this interaction to be as routine and unmemorable as possible.
- Say as little as possible during the stop. If the situation does get messy, you want to be able to argue your case in court, and not at the scene.
- Don’t volunteer information or directly answer any question that can be construed as an admission of guilt. That includes saying, “I’m sorry,” or answering in the affirmative if asked, “Do you know why I pulled you over?” Ask the officer to explain the factors that led to the stop, and do not deny, affirm, or defend the actions he or she alleges.
- Don’t get hostile or defensive.
- Try not to cry or get emotional. Being calm and assertive will carry you through the stressful situation faster than tears will.
- Don’t be intimidated into silence, but don’t avoid reasonable questions if you can help it. If you are skirting questions, the officer is likely to get more stern. Stand your ground, but maintain your composure. Remember, you have the right to remain silent. Use it when you feel that you should.
- Don’t use your phone or turn the radio back on while you wait. If you are issued a citation, take it without complaint; you can always appeal it in court.
If you follow these simple guidelines, you are likely to not only get through the stop with a minimum of difficulty, you are also very likely to win your case in court or, at a minimum, have the charges reduced so they don’t affect your driving record.
Specializing in a particular legal field has many benefits. It makes a lawyer efficient and dependable and gives him or her a competitive edge over more generalized competitors. That said, choosing a specialty can be difficult; law students should consider their passions, their expertise and future aspiration, kind of law school they attend or will attend and job opportunities before settling on any one particular field. In this post, I list a few common specializations.
Criminal law centers around individuals who violate any public law. As any serialized crime show would tell you, these proceedings usually involve players including but not limited to: government prosecution, the District Attorney, defense counsels, and those working in detention systems. This field is ideal for those who want to serve public good and work on behalf of those caught in the criminal justice system.
Admiralty law is one of the field’s oldest specialties. It primarily deals with maritime issues such as shipping, piracy, canals, insurance, navigation waters, ocean policy and employee rights while working at the sea. The laws binding seafaring commerce and conduct are distinct from those of the land. As such, a lawyer needs to know the maritime legislation of different countries. It has diverse work opportunities and is ideal for those who love water and traveling.
Intellectual Property and Patent Law
Intellectual property and patent law deal with enforcement and acquisition of copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, patents, and licensing. It covers exclusive rights to a registered innovation, business process and methods, products, artistic works, and ideas. If they plan to specialize in patent law, law students need to take a patent bar exam and must already hold an undergraduate degree in science or engineering. With constant changes in the economy and technology, such attorneys are continually in demand.
Healthcare and Environmental Law
Healthcare law handles the implementation, enforcement and craft of healthcare policies. It has vast opportunities, offering legal specialists the chance to interpret legislation concerning medical malpractices, bioethical policy and patient rights. It is vital for a healthcare attorney to undertake classes in health technology and privacy law. Environmental law tackles private and public actions that affect the environment. It involves different treaties, regulations, conventions, and statutes. It involves matters of public health, pollution, and natural resource management.
Being a specialist in this field requires one to be conversant with the legal system and how they impact the operations of a business. It covers all aspect of industrial and commerce such as formation and dissolution of a business, M&A, disputes between companies and individuals/corporations and compliance with state and federal laws.
While I won’t fully cover them here, other famous specializations include constitutional law, joint degree programs, and First Amendment law.
About Henry Vinson
Henry Vinson is a 10,000 hour commercial pilot with Single-Engine and Multi-Engine Airplane; Rotorcraft-Helicopter; Instrument-Airplane; Flight Instructor Airplane & Flight Instructor Helicopter ratings. Henry Vinson holds a Master of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications from West Virginia University, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Mortuary Science from Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science. He is a member of the Public Relations Society of America, Airplane Owner and Pilot Association, American Marketing Association, American Communications Association, and Experimental Aircraft Association.
Henry Vinson was born in 1960 in South Williamson, Kentucky. He graduated from Williamson High School in 1979, and, after attending South West Virginia Community College, he enrolled in the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science. In 1982, he was appointed the Coroner for Mingo County, West Virginia.
Four years later, he became a funeral director for W. W. Chambers Funeral Homein Washington, DC. After his stint at W. W. Chambers Funeral Home, he owned and operated the largest gay escort service ever uncovered in Washington, DC at the age of 26.
In 2007, Mr. Vinson received a Masters in Integrated Marketing Communications from West Virginia University, and today he is a successful entrepreneur who lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Following a successful career as a marketing and advertising consultant, Henry Vinson opted to return to school in 2014 to pursue a law degree. Vinson is currently enrolled in the Juris Doctor Program at William Howard Taft University, America’s oldest nationally accredited distance learning law school.