It can certainly be nerve-racking to be pulled over by the police. You may not have any idea what they believe you did wrong or why they initiated the traffic stop. And you certainly want to avoid doing anything that would incriminate yourself or make the situation worse.
Unfortunately, when people feel nervous talking to police officers, they often make mistakes because they simply haven’t been in the situation before. To help you, let’s go over some tips to keep in mind if you get pulled over.
How you should act
The goal should always be to avoid escalation and to be cooperative. Even if you don’t believe that you’ve done anything wrong, the place to fight that is in the courtroom, not with an officer on the side of the road. Additionally, here are some tips that may help the encounter go smoothly:
- Wait for the officer to give instructions about getting your license and registration.
- Stay in the vehicle unless instructed otherwise.
- Remember that you do have a right to remain silent after you identify yourself.
- Provide your license, insurance information and other necessary documents.
- Remember that you can ask questions, but be careful not to be combative when you do.
- If necessary, you can ask the officer for identifying information, such as their name and badge number.
If you are polite and cooperative, things will often go well, but there’s no guarantee. The police may certainly treat you unfairly or even violate your rights during the stop. If this happens, be sure you know what legal options you have.