Steve DuckettSteven L. Duckett, Jr. was born and raised in the DC suburbs of Northern Virginia. He attended Paul VI High School (1990), University of Richmond (1994) and Valparaiso University School of Law (1997). Mr. Duckett has spent the entirety of his legal career practicing in criminal and traffic law. He created the law firm of Steven L. Duckett, Jr., P.C. in April 2001.
Host: What is the first thing you should do when you get pulled over for speeding?
Steve Duckett: Well, the first thing you should do when you're pulled over for speeding is you need to remember that this is your first opportunity to make an impression on the officer and you need to make it a good one. Most traffic cases can be won or loss right down the road. So you need to be careful as what you say and you need to be able to communicate well and develop a good rapport with the officer. In many cases the officer comes in the court and he is hell-bent against you for one reason or another, then your case is not going to go well; but if you make the officer think that you are a good person, you just made a mistake; you're smiling and friendly with the officer, then things are going to go a lot better. We'll talk some more about specific things that you can do to build that rapport with the officer. The first thing that you should do when you are pulled over for speeding is immediately grab your registration and your license and if you are a female, it's probably in your purse, your driver's license; most people keep the registrations in their glove compartments. You need to know where those things are before you're behind the wheel. So, if you are pulled over you can pull one of them out immediately. The reason for this is simple. Officers don't know who you are and they don't know what kind of situation they're walking into. Think about that from the officer's point of view; you are going up to a car; you're going to charge them with something. It's likely you have no idea whether this person hates officers, could be a mass murderer; you never know what they are walking into. So, they want to see you calm and collected as they approach your vehicle and the best thing that you can do to ease their mind is show them your hands. So the first thing you do is you get your registration and your license and then just put down your window and show your hands on the side there; that way the officer knows, he is not walking into a negative situation, at least not negative for him.