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What to Do When you Are Pulled Over by the Police

Tuesday, 26 Oct 2010 12:19 PM

Most people become quite nervous when they are pulled over by the police. Maybe it has something to do with the sight of flashing lights, the sound of a siren, and a law-enforcement officer outside their car window. The next time it happens, keep your cool — it is nothing to get anxious about. Here’s what to do when you get pulled over by the police:
1. The first thing you should do when you are pulled over by the police is slow down, put on your indicator, and look for a safe spot to pull over - like a wide right shoulder or a parking lot. Once you have pulled over, stay in your car with the engine running while the police officer comes toward you. Use this time to relax and calm your mind.
2. As you roll down your window, keep your hands on the wheel and avoid reaching for anything inside. The police officer is trained to look for sudden movements and may think you are reaching for a gun. Wait for the officer to speak. When he asks to see your license and registration, retrieve them slowly. When answering questions, be brief and speak only when necessary.
3. The usual questions a police officer may ask you are, "Do you know why I stopped you?" or "Do you know how fast you were going?" to which you may answer “I am not sure.” The police officer may say you were speeding and you may be handed a ticket. Do not argue this, it is best to accept it.
4. The police officer may also want to know whether you have been drinking. If the smell of alcohol is detected on you or if you have been driving erratically, a breathalyzer test or a test for coordination may be administered. Failure to comply will give the law-enforcement officer reason to use force.
5. According to U.S. law enforcement, a stopped vehicle can be searched without a search warrant with reasonable cause like suspicious persons or behaviors or violations. The reason you were pulled over by police is always clear, but they will question you further to see if you deserve a penalty. An aggressive response to routine policing could get you arrested (which means a criminal record), whereas if you stay quiet, you could get away with paying only a minimal fine.  

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