Protecting Your Rights With Your Side Of The Story
Perception is an odd thing. Depending on where you're looking now, a few seconds ago, and whether you were paying attention, you could see a lot of things that either didn't happen or didn't happen quite as you recall. Although law enforcement officers are trained and equipped to observe legal issues, no one is perfect. If you've been accused of a traffic violation in the past, a few details can help you stay physically and legally safe if your area is a bit too active with writing tickets.
Get A Dash Cam For Your Protection
Law enforcement has the honor of the badge and a dash cam in their patrol car to push their side of a traffic violation argument. You're already at a disadvantage with word of mouth alone, but with some video evidence, you could get out of trouble.
Dash cameras (shortened to dash cams) are convenient devices that can record a lot about your drive. In most installations, they record the windshield view of your vehicle and a bit of the interior. They can protect your argument if you're in a crash, but they can also show what you're doing at a particular traffic light.
If you adjust the camera just a bit, you could capture some of your dash console. The most vital indicators would be your odometer and your signal lights, which can help you fight a lot of speeding and failure to signal tickets.
They can be a blessing and a curse. They're almost useless if you were speeding and can only help speeders if the police officer writes a much higher speed on the ticket. In most cases, if you're guilty of the crime, the camera won't help you.
Whether you think it can help you or not, share the dash cam video with your attorney. Not your friends, not your family, and definitely not the police unless they ask you. Don't break any laws or lie, but don't withhold legal information unless an attorney has given you advice on how to properly and politely refuse.
Don't Ramble To The Police
A law enforcement officer's job is to enforce the law. There are many subjects attached to this depending on the specific precinct's policies, local and state policies, and the specific police officer.
Without going into any pro- or anti-police sentiment, just keep it professional and short if the police encounter you. Greet the police officer politely, and follow orders when asked for your license and registration.
Don't antagonize the police with your camera. Don't smugly explain that your recorded evidence will show that you're right. In a perfect world, the police officer may leave you alone or politely allow you to submit the evidence in court. In reality, there's always a chance that the police officer or anyone involved may take, erase, or destroy your camera.
Talk to a traffic violation attorney to discuss other ways to protect yourself in court.