Who doesn’t hate getting pulled over by cops? It makes your heart jump into your throat and your palms start sweating like crazy! No one can possibly enjoy that feeling!
Amidst all this confusion and distress, some people make the mistake of saying the wrong things to an officer, or even making some very wrong moves. As a result, these actions could easily take their ordinary day and turn it into a scene out of a Hollywood movie or a sitcom. So what should one do to ensure they can get out of this situation without any losses whatsoever?
Well, there are few protocols that you can follow in order to prevent getting a ticket but before you can follow them, you need to know your rights and the authority an officer holds over you. So, let’s see some of the things you should and shouldn’t do, when pulled over by cops.
When you see flashing emergency lights accompanied or not, by the police siren, you have two options. Either pull over as soon as it is safe to do so, or keep going. It is in your best interest, if you pull over right away.
Roll Over the Window and Smile
Now that you have stopped you car and it is time to face the cop, it is best to show him some courtesy. Do not make any rapid movements, as this might make the cop suspect you.
Start by switching off the engine, rolling over the window all the way, and placing your hands on the wheel where he can see them. It will help, if you can switch on the internal lights as well.
Do not start searching for your documents, as this will only make the officer suspect you more. The officer might assume you are reaching for a gun instead of your documents. Hence, only reach for them once you are asked to.
Do not speak unless spoken to! Wait for the officer to approach and initiate speaking to you. Do not ask him why he has stopped you, nor say anything unless absolutely necessary. Try to answer his questions with a simple yes or no. The officer will write down the entire account into his notepad and these notes can be used against you in the court. You should try to be polite at all times, as courtesy can get you out of tickets as much as nothing else can.
You have a Right to Refuse
An officer is not allowed to search your car unless and until you give him a chance to do so. There are a few cases in which he is allowed to ask you to step out and search your vehicle and/or frisk you.
These cases include:
- A police officer might search your car if you grant him the permission to do so.
- If an officer has, in his plain view, a reason to search your car. These reasons might include any suspicious or illegal object in the plain view of the officer, inside your car.
- If you are being arrested, the officer can search your car.
- Your car can be searched if you are a suspect in any crime or if you have suspicious objects in your car at the moment.
- Lastly, if the cop suspects you have hidden evidence that will be destroyed if he doesn’t search your vehicle, he is allowed to do so by the law.
When these situations arise, it is best to keep calm and maintain your cool. If you are not guilty, you have nothing to fear, and if you are guilty, well, good luck with that!