traffic Stop

There are many different reasons why you might be stopped by a deputy sheriff. Whatever the reason, the deputy needs your cooperation;

  • The deputy may want to warn you about a potentially dangerous situation.

  • You may have committed a traffic violation.

  • Your vehicle may match the description of one used in a criminal act.

  • The deputy might think you are in trouble and need help.

  • You may have witnessed a crime.

If you are stopped by a deputy while driving, you may feel confused, anxious or even angry. These are natural feelings, But Remember, traffic stops can also be stressful and dangerous for the deputy. Each year, a number of law enforcement officers are killed or seriously injured while making the "routine" traffic stop. Deputies are especially vulnerable during hours of darkness.

With this in mind, there are things that you, as a law abiding citizen, can do to help lessen the uneasiness of the experience.

Remember: Be careful and cooperative in any stop by a deputy. If you are courteous and cooperative, they will respond in kind.

Florida Statute 316.126 requires that all drivers shall yield the right of way to emergency vehicles. Drivers are to immediately pull over parallel to the nearest edge, stop and remain in a stopped position until the emergency vehicle has passed.

What to do when a deputy stops you:

  • When you see the blue overhead lights and/ or hear the siren, remain calm, slow down and pull over in a safe location off the roadway.

  • Do not exit your vehicle unless asked to do so. This is for safety reasons.

  • Keep your hands on the steering wheel so the deputy can see them.

  • Inform the deputy of any weapons in your vehicle and their location. Do not reach or point to the location.

  • Avoid any sudden movements, especially toward the floorboard, rear seat or passenger side of the vehicle.

  • Comply with the deputy's request to see your drivers' license, proof of insurance and vehicle registration. Florida law requires you to carry these with you.

  • If your documents are out of reach, tell the depity where they are before you reach for them.

  • If there are passengers in your vehicle, encourage them to remain quiet and cooperate with instructions. You, as the operator, are solely responsible for your vehicle and its occupants.

  • Avoid becoming argumentative. Arguing will not change the deputy's mind. If you contest the violation, you will have an opportunity to address the matter in court.

  • Answer all questions truthfully.

  • The deputy may issue you a ticket. If you feel the reason is vague or unclear, politely ask the deputy for details.

  • If asked to sign a citation, do so, It is not an admission of guilt. Refusal could result in an arrest.

  • You have the right to politely deny a request by the deputy to search your car; however, if probable cause is present, the deputy has the right to search your vehicle without your consent.

Understand that each situation is unique and the deputy must alter his or her response to fit the circumstance. Generally, however, a deputy;

  • Will provide his/her name upon request

  • Will inform a person or the reason for being stopped

  • Will only arrest a person for a crime committed in the deputy,s presence, or when the deputy has probable cause to believe the person has already committed the crime.

We care about your safety.

Buckle Up
Always insure you and all
occupants are properly buckled
up. Children under 4 must be
in a child seat.
Don't Drink Don't drink and drive. Nearly half of
all fatal crashes are alcohol related.
If you drink, use a designated driver.
Speed Limit Observe and obey posted speed limits. Speeding fines are expensive and
may cause your insurance to increase.
Be courteous Impatient and aggressive drivers are becoming increasingly common on our roadways. Don't be a "road shark".
Drive with respect and courtesy.

Always avoid distractive movements while driving: using cell phones,
eating or drinking, applying make-up, reading or disciplining children

Jackson County Sheriff's Department
4012 Lafayette Street
Marianna, Florida 32447

Call Us At 1-850-482-9624 or Fax Us at 850-482-1097