• D1 Staff

Advice if you get pulled over ~ The Guys

If you get pulled over, what should you do?

Believe it or not, many people have never been pulled over by a police officer. Even if you have, we wanted to offer up a few tips from our law enforcement professionals. Here are 3 perspectives to consider:

Person being pulled over:

- Oh no, I’m going to jail.

- Why are they stopping me, I didn’t do anything wrong.

- I hope they don’t know what I did.

- I’m scared and I don’t want to be here.

- I can't afford a ticket.

- What do I do now?

Police Officer:

- I have probable cause to stop this person because...

- I saw a traffic violation

- This car or person fits the description of a person I’m supposed to be looking for.

Other factors...

- Damn, I’m just trying to get through this night without having to write one more report....

- I can’t wait till my shift is over... 

Your Parents:

- My kid is perfect and wouldn’t do anything wrong.

- Why on earth would my kid get pulled over?

- I can't afford the car payment, the insurance and now a ticket.

- Oh no, my kid did something really bad. What am I going to do?

As you can see all three perspectives are focused on different parts of the story. I remember once I asked my dad, “What do I say to get out of a ticket?” and he said, “There’s not a lot you can say to get out of a ticket,... but there’s a whole lot you can say to get into one....” Obviously, he was a Police Officer...just like his father and my great grandfather. 

People want to know how to handle being stopped by the police. Parents want to know that their children are safe and treated fairly when stopped by the police. The police officer just wants to go home that night with as few reports to write as possible... ha.

A few thing to keep in mind. 

1. If your not doing anything wrong, you most likely don’t have anything to worry about.

2. If you did do something wrong, now is not the time to try and fight it. 

You will never beat a cop on the street... your only chance is to beat him in court.

So what that means is your best course of action is to be cordial and polite, even if you don’t want to be. If you are respectful and treat them the way you want them to treat you, I promise you it will be over sooner than you think. It will take a lot longer if you try and make an ass out of yourself. Why give anyone information to use against you later? That goes for any extra statements you might feel like adding to the conversation. “Yes sir, No sir”, short simple answers are all that are required, remember, loose lips sink ships. I’m not trying to get anyone out of trouble, especially if they are deserving it. I am however, just telling you the best course of action whether you are guilty of a small infraction or not.

As a parent we want to know that our children are safe and doing the right thing when stopped by a police officer. Remember this is the age of "potentially" dirty cops, bad guys that dress up like police and stop people to victimize them, and all kinds of other situations we read about or see in the news. Our concern is our child’s safety.

The other day my daughter got stopped going back to college. Not that big of a deal, but as you can see, the first thing I want to know is why is she being stopped. My girl wouldn’t do anything wrong to get stopped. Then I start thinking like a cop again, blacked out sports car, she’s probably going just over the speed limit, I can see where she could become a target of what I’m thinking as an overzealous patrolman.

Luckily I was available and was able to make a call to her as she was on the side of the road. She told me she was only going along with traffic just a few miles an hour over the speed limit. I told her unfortunately, that was enough to get stopped. As long as it wasn’t too much over the limit I knew the worst thing she would get was a ticket. At least I knew she was alright. I asked her who had stopped her, where she was on the road, etc. All the things I needed to start heading her way just in case. 

I have to say she did everything perfect... She kept me on the phone as the officer came back up to the vehicle. She was very courteous to the officer, saying “Yes Sir, No Sir, Thank You...” Luckily for both of us, the trooper just gave her a warning and sent her on her way. 

Having pulled over several hundred vehicles myself over the years, I understand that if I don’t “have” to write the ticket, I don’t “have” to go to court. I’m not saying that by being nice to the officer your always going to get out of a ticket, but any disrespect will certainly get you one. 

Other tips when pulled over;

- Pull completely off the road or into the first available parking lot, preferably a well lit area with witnesses.

- If at night, turn on your dome light to let the officer coming up to the car see into the car. Like I said before, above all he or she just wants to go home after their shift. 

- If you're not sure whether it is a real police officer or not, call the police station non-emergency number and ask. Slow down so they don’t think your running from them and stop at the next populated area you can find. Whether it be a 24 hour truck-stop or another area with more than just you and them so there’s another witness to the stop. 

- Don’t get out of the car unless asked to do so.

- Keep your hands in plain view and don’t make any quick movements that may be perceived as threatening. Remember to a police officer, everything is a threat until proven it’s not, and even then I’m not going to completely trust it. 

- It’s best to just keep your hands on top of the steering wheel in plain sight.

- Turn the car off to let the officer know your not a flight risk. 

We hope that this helps you see a traffic stop in a different light. Thinking through the issue before it happens is training your brain to be prepared. Preparing your brain for situations reduces the fear factor and provides you with the tools to make better decisions. In the end, everyone is safer.


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