You’re driving at night when you suddenly see the familiar red and blue lights flashing behind you. You pull over and watch as an officer starts to approach the car.
For many, it’s the worst nightmare come true. However, with over 6 million car crashes each year in the US, officers need to take road safety seriously.
If you’ve been pulled over by police, you may be nervous and confused. This is normal, but the good news is that there’s a lot you can do to make the process easier.
Keep reading to learn what you should do if pulled over by police— and what you shouldn’t do.
What to Do When You’re Pulled Over by Police
There are many reasons why you may get pulled over, such as speeding, using your phone, or tailgating. However, sometimes you may get pulled over, even if you don’t think you’ve done anything wrong.
If it happens to you, here are a few things you should do.
Always stay calm! It’s not the end of the world to be pulled over, and you may not even get a ticket.
Try to remain composed and relaxed. Remember, even if you do get a ticket, you can always fight it— it’s not the worst thing in the world.
One of the most important things to do during police encounters is to be respectful.
Answer all questions with courtesy, be polite to the officer, and show that you’re taking them seriously.
When an officer pulls you over, they don’t know who you are or what you have in your car, so their safety is at risk as well.
By showing them respect, you’ll help them feel safe, and you might even be let off with only a warning.
Show ID When Asked
Generally, you should always give the officer your ID when asked. They will use this to run a check on your name and license plates, making sure you’re not in trouble with the law.
If for any reason you don’t have an ID, be honest. Explain why you don’t have it and don’t make excuses or give false information.
Explain Your Movements
If the officer asks for your ID or insurance papers, they might be in your purse in the backseat or the glove box.
Before reaching for them, let the officer know where they are and explain that you’re reaching for them. Any unexplained or sudden movements can put the officer at risk, as they don’t know if you’re reaching for your license or a weapon.
Explaining your movements will make the encounter less stressful for both you and the police.
Stay in Your Car
If you’re pulled over, stay in your car and wait until the officer approaches you. This is safer for both parties, especially if you’re near a busy road.
Only get out of your car if the officer requests you to do so. Otherwise, remain in the driver’s seat and stay calm.
Know Your Rights
It’s important to know your rights when pulled over.
You have the right to remain silent, meaning you don’t have to answer questions about where you’re going or your immigration status.
If you need a lawyer, find one local to your area who specializes in speeding tickets.
This Is What Not to Do on a Police Stop
If you’ve been pulled over, there are a few things you should avoid doing. Don’t make any of the mistakes below!
Remember, even if you do get a ticket, you can quickly pay it online, and you most likely won’t need to go to court.
If you’ve been pulled over, don’t panic! Dealing with police can definitely be a stressful situation, but panic and anxiety will only make it worse.
Take deep breaths, stay focused, and don’t be afraid to ask the officer questions if you’re confused or unsure.
If you need an interpreter, let the officer know. Otherwise, you may miss out on understanding important information.
Don’t Be Aggressive
It’s important to never be aggressive with police. Even if you’re unhappy about being pulled over, don’t take it out on them.
If you respond to the police with anger, rude remarks, or aggression, you’re likely to blow your chances of getting off with only a warning. Not only that, but you put yourself at risk of being arrested.
Try your best to remain polite and don’t lose your temper, as challenging as it can be.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Identification
If you’ve been pulled over at night, it can be hard to see what’s going on. This is especially true if the police officer is in an unmarked car or not in uniform, or if you’re on a dimly-lit country road.
If you’ve been pulled over and you’re unsure what’s happening, don’t be afraid to ask the officer for ID. Any legitimate police officer will gladly show you their badge or ID card so that you feel safe.
Unfortunately, police impersonations do happen. If you’re in any doubt, always ask the officer for ID to keep yourself safe.
Don’t Flee the Scene
It can be easy to overreact and assume the worst after being pulled over, especially if you have a previous criminal record.
However, one of the worst things you can do during a traffic stop is drive away.
This will almost always lead to additional charges. Plus, the officers who pulled you over have your license plate details, so it’s easy for them to find you after you’ve fled.
Instead of fleeing the scene, handle the situation calmly as an adult. Remember that you can always dispute any charges in court, which will almost always lead to better results than panicking and driving away.
Have you been pulled over by police? Are you in need of legal assistance with a speeding ticket or related charges?
If so, contact us today. We have over 15 years of experience in handling speeding tickets in the Louisiana area. With the right legal team by your side, you can contest your ticket in court with confidence.
We look forward to hearing from you and helping you fight your case.