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How to Survive Getting Pulled Over by Police

Luff Strenfel LLP Oct. 24, 2018

When you are pulled over by a police officer it is very important that you remain calm. Most police officers mirror your emotions so if you stay calm then there is a better chance that they will remain calm throughout the encounter. After you pull over you should turn your engine off and wait for the officer to approach. Turning off the car engine alerts the officer that you cannot drive off while you are talking with the officer. If it is dark outside, you should turn on your interior light so that the officer can see what is happening on the inside of the car. Once the officer asks for your license and proof of insurance is when you should get it from your car. Moving around before the officer asks for something can place the officer in fear of what you may be reaching for. If the officer asks you to step out of the vehicle, you must do so.

Exit the car and close the door behind you. This will make it more difficult for the officer to stick his head into your car and try to see what is in there. If at any point the officer asks to search your car, you should say “NO. Officer, I do not consent to any searches”. Even if you believe there is nothing illegal in your car, you can never truly be sure what is in your car. So, it is smart to never consent to any search. If you believe the officer has asked too many questions and is holding you just to try and trip you up, ask the officer “Are you detaining me, or am I free to leave”? If the officer says he is detaining you, then you ask for your attorney and stop talking. If they tell you that you can leave, then leave immediately. These tips should help both you and the officer have a safe encounter. If you or someone you know has been pulled over by the police and you would like to know if your rights were violated, please do not hesitate to contact us at