Getting pulled over by the police, for any reason, is nerve-wracking. You may be wondering why they pulled you over, or you may be feeling nervous because you know you committed a traffic violation. If you've been instructed by an officer to pull over, try to remain calm and follow the officer's instructions, be polite, and remember that they are just doing their job. We've outlined some steps to take and tips to follow if you're ever stopped by the police.
1.Acknowledge the officer's command
Let the police officer know that you've seen his lights and are complying with his or her commands. Turn on your flashers to let them know that you are pulling over, do this especially if you need to drive a distance before finding a safe spot to pull over.
2.Pull over to a safe area
if a police car behind you is instructing you to pull over, obey their instructions immediately. Find a safe location to stop as far to the right side of the road as possible. Turn off your car and remain inside the vehicle unless the officer instructs you to step outside.
Being pulled over by the police can be stressful, try taking some deep breaths to relax. There's nothing to be nervous about, the worst that can happen during a traffic stop is that you will be given a ticket and will have to pay a fine. Remind yourself that the officer is probably nervous too, he or she is just doing their job and will want this encounter to go smoothly as well.
4.Show documents until the officer asks for them
The officer will ask for your driver's license and registration, do not reach for them until they ask you to do so. The officer doesn't know what you are reaching for in your glove compartment or your purse, any sudden movements could make them nervous and suspect that you are reaching for a weapon.
5.Keep your hands on the steering wheel or somewhere visible.
After you've handed your documents to the officer, return your hands to the steering wheel. It keeps them visible to the officer so that they don't suspect your up to anything suspicious.
6.Be civil and respectful
Be respectful and do not argue with the police officer if you are given a ticket. If you are arrested or detained, you do have the right to invoke your Fifth Amendment and remain silent. If you believe you were wrongly given a ticket, do not argue with them, you can dispute the charge later in court.
7.Be safe when merging back into traffic.
Take your time and store your belongings back in their place. If you're still feeling nervous or overwhelmed by the encounter, take a few minutes to calm down before merging back into traffic. When you're calm and ready to drive, turn on your signal and merge back into traffic. Try to concentrate on the road and not on your ticket, distractions like this could cause an unfortunate accident.
Most traffic violations don't require the assistance of a lawyer. However, more serious charges such as driving under the influence, possession of drugs, or possession of a firearm often do require legal assistance. In these instances, it's best to discuss your situation with a criminal defense attorney. An attorney will have knowledge on your state's laws and will be able to determine the best strategy for your case and will guide you through the legal process.