The most common interaction that a law-abiding citizen has with police is being stopped pursuant to a traffic violation. It is important that you do not act in an aggressive or disrespectful manner to the police officer when being stopped. It is especially important that you do not get into an argument with the officer. Do not ask “what are you stopping me for?” and do not try to control the situation. The best way to handle the stop is to be polite, charming and apologetic. The police officer has stopped you for a reason. By claiming that you did not do whatever activity he or she witnessed you doing, you are insulting the officer’s intelligence.
Chris Rock’s Advice
Chris Rock has a video on YouTube in which he gives advice about what to do when you get pulled over for a traffic violation. In the video, Chris Rock recommends that you should “obey the law, stop immediately and stay in your car with your hands on the wheel. If your woman is mad at you, leave her at home. There’s nothing she’d like to see more than you getting your ass kicked”. This is generally good advice!
Honesty is the Best Policy
Do not lie to the police officer when you are stopped. In addition, do not tell the police officer that you don’t know the reason you were pulled over. This will not be helpful. Police officers are concerned with their safety at traffic stops. They do not know if you are an honest citizen or a hardened criminal with a gun under your seat. Stay calm!
When the police officer approaches your car, remain inside the vehicle. Turn the interior dome light on in your car and keep your hands on the steering wheel. It is important that you avoid making quick movements. A police officer may misinterpret a quick movements being an aggressive action to obtain a weapon.
If the police officer asks you for your license and registration, tell the police officer where you are going to put your hands to try to find these items. When you move to obtain your license and registration, do not move quickly. Instead, move slowly in a non-aggressive manner. If you need to open the glove compartment, ask for the police officer’s permission before doing so. He or she may be concerned that there is a weapon in the glove compartment. Be friendly with the police officer. Do not tell him or her that you have important contacts or that you know a lawyer who will straighten this matter out. This would be a mistake. Furthermore, do not, under any circumstances, try to offer the police officer a bribe!
Traffic tickets can be a minor nuisance or they can destroy your livelihood and result in significant hardship by causing you to lose your driver’s license. Should you be issued a summons for traffic violation, an experienced traffic court attorney can help you deal with these problems.