What to do if you are pulled over by the police

Being pulled over can be a huge inconvenience and if you have never been pulled over before it may be a disturbing experience.  However, there are certain things you can do to make sure that it goes smoothly and quickly for all parties.

Remain in the Car

Police officers are concerned with their safety and yours during a traffic stop.  The main thing you don’t want to do is to appear threatening to the police.  This means that for your safety you should stay in the car when communicating with them unless you are specifically asked to get out.

Avoid Sudden Movements

To make sure that everyone is safe during a traffic stop, it is necessary for you to not do anything quickly or suddenly that could be perceived as a threat.  You should verbally tell the officers what you are going to do so that if you are doing something mundane like reaching for your wallet or registration, they don’t believe you are going for a gun or other weapon.

Comply with the Officer’s Request

It is imperative that you comply with the officer’s requests in a respectful manner.  While it is common for you to feel angry or frustrated during this process, staying calm will make sure that the event is over quickly.  Voicing your anger or frustration will not help your position nor arouse sympathy in the officer.

Know Your Rights

While it is very important to be compliant, respectful and to appear as non-threatening as possible, it is also important for you to know what a police officer can and cannot do.  You always have the right to remain silent and you can calmly and politely tell the officer that you wish to do so, especially if they begin asking you leading questions to get you to admit to a crime.  You also have the right to not consent to a search of your vehicle if they want to search it.

As shown above, it’s important to remain calm and polite during any situation in which you are stopped by a police officer.  Appearing non-threatening and announcing your actions will also help to make sure that things do not escalate and it is over quickly.  Keep these tips in mind next time this happens to you so that it is a non-event.

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