8 Tips for When You’re Pulled Over
For anyone, getting pulled over can be a stressful ordeal. Seeing those flashing red and blue lights in your rearview mirror can cause instant anxiety. And as the police officer approaches your car, you may be asking yourself if you remembered to put the registration paperwork in the glove box.
But being pulled over doesn’t have to be so intimidating. If you know what to say and do when you’re pulled over, the process can be that much smoother. For tips on how to act when pulled over by an officer, read further.
1. Pull Over Safely
When you see those unmistakable lights behind you, it can be easy to panic and rush to pull over. But, while you are required to pull over, take the time to do so safely.
To acknowledge the officer, put on your flashers and carefully move out of the way of traffic. Change lanes with caution while considering other drivers, and park your vehicle in a parking lot or in a wide enough shoulder. Be sure to turn off your vehicle as soon as you’re safely off to the side.
2. Stay in Your Car Unless Told Otherwise
After you’ve been pulled over, stay in your vehicle and keep your hands visible at all times. This immediately communicates to the officer that you’re not a threat.
However, if you are asked to get out of the vehicle, you are required to do so. When instructed, step out of the vehicle without complaint, and follow the officer’s instructions.
3. Keep Your Answers Short
Sometimes, the officer may ask a series of simple questions. Try to answer without saying more than you need to. For instance, a simple “yes” or “no” can be perfectly acceptable. While you may be required to verify the address and name on your license, you do have a right to remain silent for most inquiries. If you feel uncomfortable answering certain questions, merely say, “I prefer not to answer.”
If you provide more information than necessary, it makes it easier for your tongue to slip and surrender incriminating details.
4. Quickly Comply When Asked for Documentation
If the officer asks for your license and registration, hand it over without a fuss. And if you don’t have one or the other, calmly explain to the officer what you’re missing and apologize. You can also tell them where you suspect your license or registration to be, but keep your explanation somewhat short and concise.
5. Do Not Lie
Whatever you do, don’t try and deceive the officer. Be honest, and tell the truth. If the officer finds out you’re lying, it can put you in a poor position and complicate the situation. Again, you do have a right to remain silent, so if you don’t want to reply, politely respond that you wish not to answer.
6. Be Polite
From the time you’re pulled over to the time you pull away from the curb, be polite. Remember that the officer is simply trying to keep you and others safe on the road, and remain calm. Don’t get upset with the officer, and don’t argue with the officer if you’re given a ticket.
If you feel the ticket is undeserved for any reason, don’t take it up with the officer. Instead, contest it in court, and use the information on the ticket to do so.
Keep in mind that officers are trained to cautiously approach vehicles and always be on their guard. Being considerate and civil with an officer can help them feel more comfortable with the situation, and it can keep you from getting into even worse trouble.
Next time you’re pulled over, keep these tips in mind for a more pleasant experience. Be polite and carefully follow the officer’s instructions.
However, if you are arrested and bail is set for your release, don’t stay in jail for longer than necessary. If you’re unable to pay the full bail amount on your own, turn to a reputable bail bond company, such as Absolute Bail Bonds. Once you contact us, we’ll work quickly to get you released.