What you do and say after stopping traffic can be very important. Learn what to do when you get pulled over and how to interact with the police.
Once a police officer starts stopping you, what you do and say can greatly affect any legal proceedings that may follow. Whether a traffic stop ends with a simple moving violation or arrest for a more serious offence, your choices matter.
If a police car is chasing you with its siren blaring or flashing emergency lights, pull over quickly to the right (but safely) and come to a complete stop in a safe place.
Pulling over immediately is not an admission of guilt. It just means that you are alert to everything that is happening around you. Also, by stopping as soon as possible, you have a better chance of finding out exactly where and how the officer said you broke a traffic law. This information can be helpful if you and your attorney need to prepare a defense later.
Pull over to the side of the road in the way that is most likely to calm an angry or upset traffic officer. Use turn signals to indicate any lane changes from left to right and slow down fairly quickly, but not so quickly that the police will have to brake hard to avoid hitting you. Pull over to the right side of the road as far as possible so the police don’t have to worry about being stopped by vehicles in the right lane as they approach your window.
If you can safely do so, take out your cell phone and press the “record” button, then place it on your dashboard. Before the police get in the car, state the exact date, time and your location. You can use the built-in video camera or just use the voice memo feature on your phone. What we’re really looking for here is a recording of your conversation with the officer.
This can help you in many ways during your defense. Just remember, reaching your hand in the car when pulled over can make the police feel really uncomfortable, and rightly so. Try to be discreet about it.
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