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How to interact with an officer when getting pulled over

Getting pulled over is never a fun experience and while most have had a run-in from time to time, there may be some, especially new drivers, who have yet to know how it all works. To help ease the anxiety, here a quick and painless guide in how to deal with getting pulled over.

Keep seated in the car

The first thing to know when getting pulled over is to remain calm and stay in your seat. Let the officer talk first and if he requests you exit the vehicle, do so but unless specifically instructed, just stay in the car so that the officer won’t have any misunderstandings.

Announce if you’re are going to make any quick movements

As we talked about in the last section, law enforcement officers have the difficult job of both having to enforce the law and keeping both themselves and you safe. No matter what the officer will be somewhat on guard and that quick action for reaching for your wallet can just as easily look like you are reaching for a gun. To avoid any type of miscommunication it is best to let the officer know that you are reaching to take out your id just so that they can maintain that everyone is being safe.

Be respectful and listen to requests

It’s completely understandable that anyone would be less than thrilled about being pulled over and that there will be some aspect of frustration and anger. However, taking that anger out on the police officer by being disrespectful or aggressive is only going to end badly for you. Try to keep your temper down and be politely adhere to any requests the officer makes.

Understand your rights

Although it is really important to be polite and respectful when interacting with law enforcement, it is also in your advantage to understand your rights as well. When talking with the police, it would seem that telling them every little detail may be helpful but that may not always be the case. If for any reason you feel uncomfortable by the questions being asked or if you worry that they may be leading to you saying things that may hurt your case, then you do have the right to remain silent until having a lawyer present. The other thing to know is that you can decline to have your car searched despite what you may have been told previously. It doesn’t, however, mean your car won’t get searched at some point, but simply that the officer will have to retain a warrant to do so first.

In the end, with a few precautions and understanding that lashing out will be to your detriment, getting pulled over, while not fun, doesn’t have to be a harrowing experience.

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