If you suddenly see the bright flashing lights of a police car behind you, it’s normal to feel a bit nervous or intimidated. But, how you act when the police officer approaches your vehicle could affect the outcome of the traffic stop. Here’s what to do if the police pull you over:
Prepare for him to approach the car.
Find a safe spot to pull over and immediately do so. Then, prepare for the police officer to approach your car by rolling down the window. If you are smoking a cigarette, put it out prior to him coming to your window. If the traffic stop occurs at night, you may want to turn on the light inside your car so the police officer knows that you are not hiding a weapon or anything else that could cause him harm. Then, keep your hands firmly planted on the steering wheel unless the police officer advises you to do something else.
Don’t give the police officer a reason to dislike you. Be polite when you speak to the officer and do not exhibit any signs of aggression. When you address the officer, call him or her “officer,” “ma’am,” or “sir” to show respect. Being rude will not get you anywhere—in fact, it may make matters worse for you.
Don’t make any sudden movements while a police officer is by your car. If you quickly and suddenly reach for something in back of your vehicle, the police officer may assume that you are reaching for a weapon. Instead, move slowly and announce what you are doing. For example, if the police officer asks you to hand over your license and registration, but it is in the glove compartment, clearly state that you are going into your glove department to retrieve the requested documents.
Know your rights.
You and your passengers have the right to remain silent during a traffic stop. Exercise this right if the police officer begins to question you. But, don’t just sit there silently. Politely inform the police officer that you will be exercising your right to remain silent. You also have the right to say no to unlawful searches of your vehicle. Unless the police officer has reason to believe that your car contains evidence of a crime, he cannot search your vehicle without your consent. Don’t give consent under any circumstances.
If you have been arrested after being pulled over by a police officer, get in touch with a criminal defense attorney right away. Contact Reisch Law Firm so our attorneys can immediately begin working on your case and defending your rights. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.