Driver’s Checklist: What You Should Do If You Get Pulled Over By The Police

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Picture this: you’re on the road, and you may have a lot of things going on inside your head. Or you’re in a hurry because you’re running late for an event or meeting. Maybe, you’re just thinking of a lot of things, when you suddenly get pulled over by the police. What do you do, then?                        

If you do get pulled over by the police in the USA, you need to know how to handle this kind of situation properly. You have to bear in mind that everything you say and how you act towards the police officer may drastically affect your future.                                  

So, if you ever experience being pulled over by the police, here are the things you should do:

Acknowledge the police officer

When you see a police officer signaling you to pull over, the first thing you should do is to keep calm. Turn on your lane signals and safely pull over to the side. Quickly pulling over doesn’t mean you are already admitting that you did something wrong, it just means that you respect and straightaway acknowledge the authority of the officer.

Remain in your vehicle, unless you are told otherwise

After making a stop, make sure that you stay in the car unless you are told to do otherwise. Once you get out of your vehicle after pulling over, you are giving the officer the impression that you’re uncooperative, or you’re hiding something in your car. Instead of leaving your vehicle, just turn off your engine, roll down your windows, place both hands on the wheel. If you get pulled over at night, turn on your dome lights so the police officer can see you easily. Do not reach for your driver’s license or anything yet until you are requested to do so. It might imply that you are getting a weapon and cause the police officer to be alarmed.   

Good read: Police Traffic Stops: The Do’s, Don’ts and Musts

Amicably converse

Being nervous or panicking while talking will not give a good impression to the police officer. Make sure that you are relaxed and talk to the officer nicely. Show respect and answer all the questions and information requested of you, unless you feel the problem is unnecessary. Do not interrupt when the officer is talking. Some lawyers state that there are police officers who only base their decision to charge you on your actions. Rude behavior will most likely merit a violation. Keep your answers short and precise.

You have the right to refuse

If the police officer requests to search your car, you have the right to refuse, especially if you are just being given a traffic violation. But if the officer has foreseen a reason to search like smelling or seeing something off, the officer can request to do so. Remember, refuse politely and do not get tense or anxious. 

Refrain from Arguing

If you feel that you have been wrongfully charged, don’t argue or get angry at the police officer as it might backfire to you even if you didn’t do anything wrong. Accept the ticket and bring it to the court for your legal concerns. And if you are wrongfully charged with severe cases such as driving with the influence of alcohol, you may get help from best tampa lawyer Dennis Hernandez to help you get through with the situation.              

DENNIS HERNANDEZ

Dennis started practicing law at just 23 years old. He obtained his undergraduate degree from Duke University and continued to earn law degrees from Florida State University College of Law and Harvard Law School. Blessed with multiple associations, memberships and awards, Dennis graduated from the Trial Lawyers College. Mr. Hernandez is one of only 1,378 attorneys who claim this distinction. In 1996, he founded firm Dennis Hernandez & Associates, P.A., which concentrates in the areas of personal injury, medical malpractice and product liability. Dennis is admitted to practice law in all State of Florida courts, The Supreme Court of the United States, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh District, U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, and the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

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