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By:    On: 2011-04-25

Oh no there is a cop behind me! What do I do! Should I run? Should I stop? What did I do wrong? Oh no my hair is falling out!

First off calm down. There are many reasons you may be getting pulled over. I have been pulled over five times, once for speeding, once I was giving a warning, twice for forgetting to turn on my headlights, and once because my car matched description for a reported road rage incident. The only ticket I have ever gotten was for speeding. My Uncle was pulled over once in his brand new sports car and pulled out of his car at gun point. Turned out moments before someone robbed a bank and the get away matched his down to the make, color and even the bumper sticker. Few minutes later the call came across the radio they caught the real robbers and my Uncle with let go with I assume a big apology.

Ok so their is a cop behind you and he just turned on his lights and possibly siren, what do you do? Slow down, turn on your turn signal and find a safe place to stop where, if possible, you can get completely out of the travel lanes. Then roll down your window, turn off your radio, and turn off your car.

police car - what to do when pulled over by the police

Another tip: I have a large knife that lives in my glove box. I always tell the cop upfront that it is there, really does not take much for me to close my eyes and see a gun to my head as the cop drags me out of the car throwing me face first into the dirt when he sees the knife and my hands fishing around it looking for my registration and insurance. Ok yes I watch to many cop shows. However every cop has thanked me for telling them and has instructed me to leave the knife where it is. Also if they have me get out of the car I let them know there is a small pocket knife in my pocket. I have never had a problem and never plan to.

On the news I have heard if you are not comfortable stopping where you are, maybe its a bad neighborhood or something; or maybe you think its not really a cop but rather a ax murder who moments ago stoled a cop car that you can call 911 and confirm its a cop but also arrange to stop say at a near by shopping center where you feel safer. I would not recommend doing this except in extreme cases.

On the ACLU website (http://www.aclu.org/drug-law-reform-immigrants-rights-racial-justice/know-your-rights-what-do-if-you) the offer the following in reguards to your rights and what to do.

IF YOU ARE STOPPED FOR QUESTIONING

  • Stay calm. Don't run. Don't argue, resist or obstruct the police, even if you are innocent or police are violating your rights. Keep your hands where police can see them.
  • Ask if you are free to leave. If the officer says yes, calmly and silently walk away. If you are under arrest, you have a right to know why.
  • You have the right to remain silent and cannot be punished for refusing to answer questions. If you wish to remain silent, tell the officer out loud. In some states, you must give your name if asked to identify yourself.
  • You do not have to consent to a search of yourself or your belongings, but police may "pat down" your clothing if they suspect a weapon. You should not physically resist, but you have the right to refuse consent for any further search. If you do consent, it can affect you later in court.

IF YOU ARE STOPPED IN YOUR CAR

  • Stop the car in a safe place as quickly as possible. Turn off the car, turn on the internal light, open the window part way and place your hands on the wheel.
  • Upon request, show police your driver's license, registration and proof of insurance.
  • If an officer or immigration agent asks to look inside your car, you can refuse to consent to the search. But if police believe your car contains evidence of a crime, your car can be searched without your consent.
  • Both drivers and passengers have the right to remain silent. If you are a passenger, you can ask if you are free to leave. If the officer says yes, sit silently or calmly leave. Even if the officer says no, you have the right to remain silent.

 

Hope this post has given you a few ideas of what to do if you are ever stopped by the police. Please share your own tips, suggestions and experiences below.

 

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