Tips on What to Do When Pulled Over by the Police
1. Remain as calm as possible. Police have a dangerous job and they do not know who you are. They are trained to suspect the worst case scenario for their protection.
2. Do not make any “furtive movements” or move around in the car. Police are trained to view this as a possible danger for weapon use and/or hiding evidence. So, do not start looking for insurance, documents, etc…until instructed to do so by the police.
3. When the officer attempts to pull you over, pull over immediately when safe to do so. Put flashers on.
4. Immediately when safe, put both hands on steering wheel even when your car is stopped. Keep eyes forward, until the police officer approaches the car to speak to you. Hands on the wheel evidences to the officer that you are less dangerous to their safety and that you are aware of their concerns, which will be appreciated.
5. Comply with all instructions of the officer. The law mandates absolute compliance with the officers’ request/instructions. Any failure to obey commands is illegal and seen as a possible threat to their “constructive authority.”
6. Be polite, even if the officer is gruff. Police are trained to be very authoritative when conducting a motor vehicle stop as they are in the most dangerous position at that time, and many officers have been killed during motor vehicle stops. It is not personal! Do not get agitated and respond in kind. They are in charge, not you. Be respectful of their authority. Keep your cool even if you feel offended or wrongly stopped;
7. Follow all instructions about exiting your car, placing your hands behind your back, etc…if being arrested. Remain silent…do not offer any statements. The arrest may be wrong or without cause. You do NOT have a right to defend yourself at that time. So comply!
8. Do not speak to the police about the case, and assert your right to have an attorney and exercise your right to remain silent.
9. If you are cooperative with the police, it will be helpful down the road in resolving your case. If you are a problem for them, nasty, expressing your dissatisfaction with what they are doing, like all things, they will be less likely to give you a “break” down the road.