There are several important things to remember to do if an officer pulls you over, but a few things you can do before you’re pulled over may help, too:
- Keep all documents and paperwork organized and within reach.
Make sure all of your required documentation is bound together and stored somewhere you can access it easily when asked. Before every trip, you should check to make sure all required documents are on board, organized together, and within reach from the driver’s seat.
Once you’re on the road, keep in mind a few tips that can help in any situation involving an officer pulling you over.
As soon as an officer turns on his lights, begin looking for the nearest safe place to pull off the road. Use your turn signal and pull off as quickly as you safely can and as far away from traffic as possible. Pulling over in a place that puts the officer in a position of danger from oncoming traffic can start things off in a negative manner.
Do not get out of the truck. Stay in your seat with your seatbelt fastened. You don’t want to give the officer any reason to think your seatbelt was not fastened or to be alarmed that you may be acting aggressively by getting out of the truck.
Do not reach for any documents until asked to do so. Wait until the officer is standing outside your truck and asks for documentation. Offer only documents or information that are specifically asked for, and do not volunteer anything else.
If an officer asks you if you know why you were pulled over, never give an answer that may be used as an admission of guilt. Even if you think you know why you were pulled over, it’s best not to say it. Most officers today travel with a dash-cam that records audio from any incident, so anything you say during a traffic stop could be used against you in court. Simply – and politely – state that you’re not sure. Many law officers are trained to ask leading questions, so keep your replies to ‘yes’ or ‘no’ when possible and do not argue. Disputes are best handled in court – not during a traffic stop where you have no legal representation.