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What should you do when the police pull you over?

On Behalf of | Mar 22, 2023 | traffic violations | 0 comments

While news stories about tragic police interactions may be the top stories you hear often, the reality is most law enforcement interactions are peaceful. Still, you should be cautious about not only your safety during a traffic stop but also your rights.

You have specific rights that are your duty to uphold. It is not the officer’s responsibility to ensure you uphold your rights, especially in certain situations. So, knowing your rights will help you out.

Keep silent

During a traffic stop, you do not have to answer questions or provide information to an officer beyond the requested driver’s license, registration and proof of insurance. You do not have to speak at all. You can inform the officer that you are expressing your right to remain silent.

Inform about firearms

If you have a gun in your vehicle, you should also let the officer know right away. Do not take it out or set it on your lap. Leave it wherever it is. Put your hands on the steering wheel and keep them there. If you reach for your gun, the officer could take that as a threat, which might escalate the situation needlessly.

Call 911 if concerned

If the car pulling you over is not a marked police vehicle or you otherwise feel uncomfortable, you have the right to call 911 and verify it is a legitimate stop.

Be cautious about searches

You do not have to consent to a search of your vehicle. However, officers can search without your consent. They will have to prove they had probable cause to do so.

Knowing what you can and cannot do during a traffic stop can help prevent situations from getting out of hand. It also will protect you from incriminating yourself in a crime or providing evidence against yourself.