What to Do and What Not to Do When You Get Pulled Over By the Police

One minute you’re driving along the Grand Strand enjoying a nice summer night. The next thing you know, you see blue lights in your rearview mirror. Just like that, you’ve gotten pulled over by the police!

It’s a natural reaction to be a little nervous when you get pulled over, but allowing your panic to take over can lead to some costly mistakes. There are certain things you definitely should do when you get pulled over, and some things you should avoid at all costs.

What to Do

  • Pull over in a safe place – The minute you see lights flashing can make you think you have to pull over that exact second. The reality is, police officers would rather have you pull to a stop on the side of the road where it’s safest to do so. Make sure not to cut anyone off when merging to pull over, and don’t block any driveways once you’ve come to a complete stop.
  • Prepare to talk with the police – This includes turning off your car, rolling down your window, and making sure your full attention is on the conversation. If you smoke in your car, put out the cigarette. If you’re on a hands-free phone call, end the call before the officer approaches. If you get pulled over at night, turn on your interior lights.
  • Treat the officer with respect – Maybe this sounds like common sense, but a surprisingly large number of people choose to argue with the officer that pulled them over. A typical rule of thumb is to use shorter phrases like “yes officer” or “let me get that” when asked questions or to see your license.

What Not to Do

  • Hide your hands – When an officer pulls you over, he or she has no idea who you are or what dangerous items might be in your car. Even if you are completely innocent and are let off with a warning, they don’t know that when they approach your car. Keep your hands in sight at all times and avoid any sudden movements.
  • Allow them to search your vehicle or phone – All too often people comply with an officer’s request to search their car because they think they have to. The truth is that a routine traffic stop does not give the police any reason to search your vehicle. Similarly, they cannot search your cell phone without a warrant or your consent.
  • Remove your seat belt – Turning off your engine and removing your seat belt often go hand in hand, and you might automatically do both without thinking about it. Some officers might cite that as a reason to give you a ticket for not wearing your seatbelt, and unless you are asked to step out of the car, there’s no reason to do so.

If you’ve been pulled over and feel your rights were violated, contact The Greg McCollum Complete Legal Defense Team today. We can review your case and work with you for the justice you deserve.

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Written by Greg McCollum CLDT

Greg McCollum CLDT

At the Complete Legal Defense Team we represent, assist, and defend people who are accused of crimes. Being accused of a crime is a harrowing experience. You experience public shame and humiliation and do not know where to turn for help. We are experienced and knowledgeable and will take immediate steps to begin repairing your life. We evaluate how the allegation affects your reputation in the community, how it affects your time and your life, and how it will affect you financially. Believe it or not, many people who are arrested and charged with crimes are innocent.