Most people know someone who has been pulled over the police, even if they haven’t been themselves. The police might pull you over for speeding, appearing to drive recklessly or for issues with your vehicle, like having a blown tire or lights out.
If you are stopped by the police, there are some things that you shouldn’t do. Here are several things you should not do when you see an officer approaching your vehicle.
- Don’t get out of your vehicle unless you’re asked to do so
To start with, don’t get out of your vehicle when you see an officer come up behind you. Instead, stop your vehicle, turn on your hazard lights and wait for the officer to approach. They may ask you to roll down your window. Do so as little as you need to for the purposes of asking why you’ve been stopped and seeing what documentation the officer needs.
- Don’t try to talk your way out of the situation
Some people will immediately try to start talking themselves out of the traffic stop. Don’t do that. By trying to explain why you were speeding or where you were coming from, you may actually give the officer a reason to arrest or ticket you.
- Don’t agree to a search of your vehicle
Another thing not to do is agree to a search of your vehicle without a warrant or probable cause. The officer may ask if you would be comfortable with him checking the back seat, for example, but you can say no. Ask if they have a warrant or probable cause. If they do, they may have a legal right to search your vehicle even without your permission. The thing you don’t want to do is agree to a search when no search was warranted.
If you’re stopped by the police, you need to know your rights
These are a few things that you should not do if you’re stopped by a police officer. It’s important to keep these in mind because knowing your rights could help you protect yourself against traffic tickets or criminal charges.