Being pulled over by a police officer can be tense situation for anyone. Unfortunately, most people don’t have a team of criminal traffic lawyers in their car to help them when they get pulled over. Here are a few tips on what you should and shouldn’t do if you get pulled over.
It’s All About Risk Assessment
When a cop makes the decision to pull you over, you become a potential threat. The officer immediately begins to assess the risk level by watching your movements and the movement of your vehicle. If it is clear that you are being pulled over, take a deep breath, stay calm and do the following:
• Turn on your directional signal to let the officer know you are complying
• Begin slowing down as you look for a safe location to pull to the side of the road
• Once your vehicle comes to a stop, turn off the engine, unlock your doors and roll down your window
• Place your hands on the steering wheel
Do not make any sudden movements, such as reaching into the glove box for your paperwork or reaching under the seat, as these can be misinterpreted by the officer as signs of a weapon or other threat.
How To Be Polite Without Offering Too Much Information
Chances are that when a patrol car pulls up behind you with lights ablaze, it is because the officer believes you broke the law. A cop’s job is to gather evidence to prove that you violated the law. Engaging you in conversation is one way of doing this.
Some cops use a friendly, conversational approach to the initial contact with a motorist. Others come across as aggressive and confrontational. Whatever type of police officer you are dealing with on the side of the road, keep one thing in mind: Anything you say to this person standing by your vehicle may end up helping to convict you of breaking the law when it is repeated to a judge.
Popular opening lines that police use to you to admit wrongdoing include:
• “Do you know why I stopped you?”
• “Do you know how fast you were going?”
• “What’s the hurry?”
If you do choose to answer, polite, non-confrontational and non-argumentative:
• “No, officer, why did you stop me?
• “Yes, officer, I know how fast I was going.”
• “I’m not in a hurry.”
When To Just Say “No”
Police do not have the right to search your vehicle during a routine traffic stop. You do not need to consent to a police request to conduct a search. You may simply respond with, “No, I do not consent.”
Phoenix Criminal Traffic Lawyers
If your encounter with the police ends with civil or criminal charges, you should contact one of our Phoenix criminal traffic attorneys to go over the facts surrounding the traffic stop while they are still fresh in your mind. The Tyler Allen Law Firm represents clients in all types of traffic and criminal matters including DUI and DWI. Call us today at (602) 456-0545.