What To Do If You're Pulled Over By Police

What should you do if you're pulled over by police? Then know how to behave so that you have as smooth of a pull-over as possible.

If you're driving along and you get pulled over by police it's important to know how to conduct yourself when you see that police car's sirens turn on. What you do or say can have a big impact on what follows, whether you're let go, get a traffic violation, or an arrest.

Here's what to do if you're pulled over by police officers.

When you see a police car with its siren on, pull over safely and calmly to the right side of the road, stop your car, and turn the engine off.

Doing so promptly can benefit you because you'll find out why you've been pulled over and visualizing where or how you broke the law may help you later on if you fight it.

Roll down your window, turn on the inside light if it's dark outside, place your hands on your steering wheel, and wait for the officer to approach.

Don't do anything else unless the officer asks you to. This means that you shouldn't reach for your license or registration unless they request it.

When an officer asks for documents, it may be helpful to tell them where you have to reach for them, and then reach for them slowly. Always be polite to officers. Don't interrupt them when they speak. Answer their questions with short, respectful answers. You have the right to remain silent, but sometimes you have to invoke your right by saying so, otherwise they may view your silence as guilt.

If you show hostility, a police officer may see that as a threat and proceed to conduct searches.

An officer can ask you or your passengers to get out of your car. Don't do so unless they ask you to. Not doing so can be interpreted as a threat. Once outside the car, an officer can also do a search pat-down on the outside of your clothes. They're allowed to reach inside and grab anything that feels like a weapon.  If an officer suspects that you're dangerous, they're also allowed to search your passenger side compartment for any weapons.

If you act respectfully and professionally, a police officer may let you off with just a warning, but if you act with hostility, you may face police searches and a possible arrest.


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