Helpful Things To Do During Police Stops


Upon Seeing the Police Car

If you will notice that a police car is following you with the emergency lights blinking and the siren is blaring, the primary consideration is your safety. The best thing that you can do is to pull over to the right immediately in a safe manner. After that, you should have a full stop in a safer place.

Don’t get it wrong. If you choose to stop immediately, you’re showing alertness about the things that are happening around you, giving you an opportunity to quickly assess the situation. Why did the officer say you have violated a traffic regulation? It is important to prepare an answer to this question so that you can fully cooperate with your lawyer if the time will come for you to defend yourself through legal proceedings. After all, pulling over quickly is not a sign of guilt.

Always remember to show actions that will calm down the police officer who noticed you on the road. It is proper to use your turn signal in case you will move from the left lane to the right lane, and slow down fairly promptly, but you should avoid any incident that the police officer has to break suddenly to avoid bumping your vehicle.

What to Do Right After You Stop

If you chose to stop quickly and safely, it is one step of being a courteous person. Show more courtesy such as putting out a cigarette if you have it or placing your hands on the steering wheel so that the police officer will not be afraid of you. Aside from that, do not rummage any part of your vehicle to find something like a license or wallet unless the officer requested you to do so. The police officer must be on his optimal frame of mind when he approaches you. It is possible that a police officer will think that approaching your vehicle is a very dangerous situation. If there is no request from the police officer for you to get out from the car, stay inside and be calm.

Exceptions to Search Your Car

As a general rule, a police officer cannot search your car. However, there are exceptions to this rule. The police officers will observe any clandestine movement such as sudden lowering of your shoulders that may indicate that you’re hiding something. They’ll also look for things in plain view that might incriminate you such as wine bottles, joints and more. If ever the police officers will tow your vehicle away, they usually make an inventory search even if they don’t have reasons to do so.

Cases Involving Police Stops

It is a well-settled rule that a police officer has the right to ask you to get out from the car. However, you can stay inside the vehicle if a police officer didn’t ask you to do so. (Pennsylvania v. Mimms, 434 U.S. 106 (1977); Maryland v. Wilson, 519 U.S. 408 (1997).) The assumption that police officers are observing your movements closely if you don’t follow instructions is proper since it will make them think that you’re a threat to them.

If you’re familiar with the “pat-down” search, this may happen during the police stop situation and it arises when the office officers suspect you as dangerous. (Arizona v. Johnson, 555 U.S. 323 (2009).) In case of proper frisking, the officer may also seize any object that he or she considers as contraband. In addition, the police officers who have reasons to believe that you’re a threat may search the passenger compartment to find out if you’re hiding a weapon or anything dangerous. (Michigan v. Long, 463 U.S. 1032 (1983).) When it comes to cellular phones, any police officer may not search it without warrants or your consent.

How to Talk To the Police Officer

It is normal for the police officer to think that you’re not trustworthy if you talk too much. In general rule, let the officer talk to you. You should respond only if necessary. Always avoid any argument in the process of talking to the police officer. Many lawyers have already mentioned that the officers who pull you over because of traffic violation have already decided to whether or not you’ve violated the rules so it is really essential to just cooperate with them so that you can change their minds.

In case you have experienced being pulled over by a police officer because of serious traffic violation, always talk to a lawyer to seek legal help. In that way, your rights will be protected to the extent of the law.

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Revised: Dec. 4, 2017, 5:13 p.m.
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