What to do if you get pulled over

Most adults at some point or other have already experienced what it is like to get pulled over. However, if you are a new driver it may be something you worry about and don’t exactly know what the protocol is to keep everyone safe from any misunderstandings or escalations. Here is a quick rundown to help make the interaction as smooth as possible

Stay in the vehicle

First things first, when getting pulled over, it’s important to stay in the vehicle unless specifically requested to do otherwise. The officer wants to make sure that he isn’t coming across a threat and wants to make a situation where both are able to communicate without any crossed signals.

Try and avoid any sudden motions

As previously discussed, the officer’s first priority is to keep all parties safe. While you may simply be reaching into your pocket to grab your ID, the officer may not know the intent behind your actions and could think you may be grabbing for a gun. This is why it is imperative to let the officer know when you are making any fast movements what you are doing so that there is no confusion.

Listen and respond to requests

If the officer does ask you to come out of the car, it is in everyone’s best interest to do so respectfully and without much conflict. It is completely common to be frustrated with the entire situation but you won’t be doing yourself any favors by taking that anger out on the officer.

Know that you have rights

While we talked about how important it is to stay calm and respectful when interacting with an officer, it is also vital to know what your own personal rights are as well. First of all, you will always have the right to remain silent. If you feel a conversation is going in a way that may be leading you to divulge information that may hurt you, whether warranted or no, you do have the option to politely tell the officer that you wish to remain silent. The other thing to know is that an officer does not have the right to search your vehicle without permission. Now, this doesn’t mean that it won’t eventually be searched but it does mean that they will need to acquire a warrant to do so.
In conclusion, most of the time, being pulled over, while unpleasant, is not a huge harrowing experience but with these tips, it should also keep all parties safe as well.

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