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What To Do When You Get Pulled Over By the Police

by Seth J Bloom on Jan. 23, 2019

Criminal 

Summary: No one wants to get pulled over, but it seems like one of those things that just happens sooner or later. Make sure you know what to do if you get pulled over to best protect yourself and your rights.

No one wants to get pulled over, but it seems like one of those things that just happens sooner or later. Make sure you know what to do if you get pulled over to best protect yourself and your rights.
When you see those flashing lights in your rearview, locate a safe place to pull over. Make sure you are off the main road and clear from traffic. The spot should be a public place where there will be people around. Bonus points if it’s well-lit. Parking lots and gas stations both make good spots.
After coming to a stop, do not immediately start rummaging for your license and registration. The officer has a right to protect themselves and if they think you pose a threat they may become hostile in return. Roll your window down and turn the light on inside your vehicle.
One of the most important things you can do when you’re getting pulled over is treat the officer with courtesy and respect. They will hopefully reciprocate your behavior. Always inform the officer of what you are doing before you do it. “I’m going to get my insurance and registration from the glove box now, Officer.”
There may be some instances when you do not wish to comply with an officer’s requests. The Fifth amendment protects your right to remain silent. This means you are within your legal rights to refuse to answer any questions or give any information, including physical documentation. You also do not have to submit to a search of your vehicle or person unless the officer has a warrant.
It’s important to note, however, that your behavior determines how the interaction goes. If you are being overly difficult and uncooperative the officer will likely respond accordingly, and you could be detained or arrested.

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