Most traffic stops are routine and end without a negative confrontation. It is common for Florida drivers to leave the scene with a mere warning, or at worst, a traffic infraction.
More serious traffic stops occur, for example, when an officer catches someone with outstanding arrest warrants and takes them into custody. For police officers, every single stop has the potential to become an elevated situation. Thus, anyone on Florida roads must remain aware that their actions can turn a normal stop into something that a vigilant officer might perceive threatening.
People driving with concealed weapons must be extra careful. To help motorists who might fall into this category, here are the things to do during a traffic stop if you have a weapon and permit in the vehicle.
State law requires drivers present identification upon request by a police officer. Legislators understand that the police have to positively identify individuals to discern the proper course of action during vehicle stops. When carrying a concealed weapon and asked to present identification, drivers should provide the officer with their license and weapons permit.
However, when approached by law enforcement, do not go rummaging through the glove compartment; keep hands visible on the steering wheel. When the officer requests identification, inform him or her of its location and that you are going to retrieve it. At this point, you can also disclose if you are a concealed weapons permit holder and the location of the weapon.
What If I Do Not Disclose My Weapon and Permit?
It may be true that the officer will not see the concealed weapon, and the stop will proceed as usual. However, problems could arise if there is a search of the vehicle, or the weapon becomes visible. It is best to present all identifying documents — weapons permit, driver’s license, registration and proof of insurance — when asked. However, remember that your weapon should remain out of view unless otherwise directed.
Anyone with a weapons permit should understand the serious public safety responsibility they possess. Many might recall the man from Tucson, Ariz. who was stopped by police for a broken headlight. He had a concealed weapon but remained calm, complied with officers’ requests and left with a warning. His story went viral after he posted it on social media. However, not all traffic stops proceed without incident, especially if alcohol is involved.
Contact the Khonsari Law Group for Concealed Weapons Permit Legal Representation
If you or a loved one is facing DUI or any other criminal charges, consult with an attorney at the Khonsari Law Group. Contact us today for a free case evaluation and consultation.