You see the unmistakable flash of red and blue lighting up the night sky in your rear-view mirror. Your stomach clenches slightly as you automatically look down at your speedometer. You see you really are going too fast, but maybe, just maybe, the trooper is after someone else. As you pull over to the side of the road, those flashing lights slow with you and follow you onto the shoulder. Now what? Now you follow the 3 Most Important Rules in dealing with the officer that just pulled you over.
Rule #1: Always be courteous and respectful. Remember all those times your mama told you to be polite and mind your manners? This is one time you need to remember what she taught you! You do not need to agree with, argue with, or ignore the officer. Respectful and courteous is the first rule in dealing with the police.
Rule #2: Resist any requests by the officer until you are forced to comply. However, always follow Rule #1 while following Rule #2. When you pull over to the side of the road, turn on your dome light, roll your window 1/3 of the way down (just enough room to verbally communicate and pass documents), and put both your hands on the steering wheel. Then: politely decline to get out of the car; politely decline to engage in any dialogue about what you are doing or where you are going; politely refuse to roll the window down any further. If the officer is persistent and it looks like an arrest may be made, contact an attorney that knows traffic law.
Rule #3: Never answer any questions! Legally, you are never under any obligation to answer any questions from police officers without an attorney present. There are many questions that sound harmless and you may think an answer will even help your cause, but usually those questions are designed to hurt you, not help. For example, if the officer asks, “Do you know why I pulled you over tonight?” You may want to try to explain and admit to speeding. But that will only build the case against you as you just admitted guilt. The correct response is, “No officer, I don’t.” Again, follow Rule #1. Politely decline to answer any questions.I thank Tyler Tervooren of Riskology for reducing the many things you think you should do when stopped by the police to just these three simple rules. Hopefully, I have explained enough about each rule that you now know what to do when you see those red and blues light up your rear-view mirror.