Whether you use your car to commute to and from work or to visit friends and family, chances are that eventually, you will experience a traffic stop. Do you know what to do and what not to do during a traffic stop? In every encounter police have with citizens they must be on-guard and ready to act. So while you may be an average, law-abiding citizen, the officer does not know that and he or she must on-guard and prepared for anything.
The next time you are stopped, you may be able to avoid a traffic citation or arrest and be on your way by following these tips:
Put your blinker on and find a safe place to stop — When you see flashing police lights behind you, it’s time to flip your blinker on and find a safe place to pull over. Never try to run from police and always make sure to come to a complete stop in a safe location and in a responsible manner.
Stay in your vehicle — Never get out of your car. Roll down your window, keep your hands in front of you or on your steering wheel and wait for the police officer to initiate conversation with you.
Reach for your license and documents when asked — Do not dig around in your glove box as the officer is approaching the vehicle — he or she may interpret this as you reaching for a weapon or attempting to conceal evidence. Wait for the officer to ask you for your license and registration.
Do not consent to a search — Law enforcement officials may perform a search based on probable cause and suspicion of criminal activity — i.e., smelling marijuana. If the officer requests your consent to a vehicle search, it is your right to refuse.
If police arrest you, do not say a word. Remain cooperative and polite and immediately request to speak to your attorney.