Flashing lights are the last thing you want to see in your rearview mirror. There is a brief moment after you pull over when you hope the officer will not follow you to the side of the road, followed by a distinct sinking feeling when you see you are getting pulled over.
You may hear friends and colleagues talk about the tips and tricks for handling getting pulled over. Some may swear that crying will get you out of anything, while others say that fake tears will guarantee a ticket.
Here’s what you should know about dealing with a traffic stop.
Demonstrate you are not a threat
Police officers tend to go into every interaction expecting the worst since there are times when a simple traffic stop can go sideways. When you show the officer you are not dangerous, it can help put everyone at ease.
After you pull over, you should take the following steps:
- Turn on your emergency flashers
- Put your vehicle in park
- Roll down your window
- Turn on your interior lights
- Turn off your engine and put your keys in a visible place on the dash
- Place your hands on the steering wheel where the officer can see them
When the officer asks for your license and insurance information, let them know where you will be reaching so that your movement is predictable.
Knowing when to speak
What you say is on the record when you talk to a police officer. This is not a good time to volunteer information, but you can still be polite.
If an officer asks you to step out of the vehicle or answer a question that could incriminate you, you can calmly ask if you are under arrest and state you want to speak to an attorney.