What Are Your Rights When You Get Pulled Over?

Friday, August 22nd 2014, 11:00 pm
By: News 9

Officer Daniel Holtzclaw is on paid administrative leave while in jail on a $5 million bond. 

His arrest has some people questioning their safety during traffic stops.

It can be nerve-wracking getting pulled over by the police, but if you think the area is too dark or unsafe, attorneys suggest move to a well-lit spot.

"Nobody likes being stopped by the police, because it scares them right away, but that's kind of the era that we live in," defense attorney Tony Coleman said.

In light of the recent arrest of Oklahoma City Police Officer Daniel Holtzclaw, 27, accused of sexual assaulting several black women, many are wary about what they should do whenever they see those bright flashing lights behind them, and they're not in a good area.

8/21/2014 Related Story: OCPD Officer Arrested For Alleged Rape, Sexual Battery

"Typically, it's ok to turn your flashers on, reduce your speed, giving them an indication that you're looking for a place that's either safe or well-lit, so that you can pull over," Coleman said.

Coleman says it's fine to continue driving to a comfortable location but not to keep going for miles.

"That's called eluding, and if you start engaging in activity that will put yourself in danger or the lives or safety of others in danger, that's called aggravated eluding. So you don't want to subject yourself to that," said Coleman. "This is something that has to be dealt with very cautiously. Common sense has to prevail here."

8/22/2014 Related Story: OKC Police Hope Officer Arrest Does Not Impact Public's Trust

Oklahoma City police says if you don't feel comfortable where an officer has pulled you over, then stop and call 911.

"Stay on the line with 911 during that traffic stop," said Oklahoma City Police Captain Dexter Nelson. "You can even tell the officer 'I'm on with 911,' and most officers are not going to have any problem with you having a phone call going on at the time, as long as you're not actively engaged in that phone call."

Nelson also says a dispatcher can then listen in on the stop, and you can also request that a supervisor come. In most cases, it will be a marked police car, but if it's not, Oklahoma City police says one will be dispatched to assist on the stop.