If you are driving and pulled over by the police, you are probably wondering what to do.  Nearly everybody who drives will be pulled over at some point.  If you are pulled over, don't take it personally, and remain calm, rational, and businesslike.  Here are some general pointers to follow if you are pulled over:

DO have your necessary documents ready – valid driver’s license, insurance card & proof of registration, and get those documents out before the police officer approaches your vehicle.

DON’T roll down your window only an inch to pass the documents – you will look unnecessarily suspicious.  Roll your window down all the way.

DO pull over as soon as you safely can – the officer will appreciate your prompt response.  Pull over as far as you safely can, signal that you are pulling over, and turn your ignition off after you have pulled over and rolled down your window.

DON’T give the officer permission to search anything – if they proceed without permission, stay calm and remember all of the details of the search (I recommend writing down what happened after the officer lets you go) to tell your attorney.

DON"T give a statement to the officer – the officer will typically try get you to admit that you were speeding or had an equipment violation.  Under no circumstances should you admit that you were breaking the law because such an admission could come back to haunt you.

DO keep your hands in plain view – put them at 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock on the steering wheel.

DON’T be a jerk – it’s not going to help your situation.  Address the officer as "Officer" and be polite, businesslike, and respectful.  Remember, the police officer is doing his or her job and has the power to issue you a ticket, give you a warning, and let you go.

DO turn on your interior lights if it is at night – to prove you aren't trying to hide something.

DON’T give the officer a reason to be worried or suspicious – stay calm and do what they say.

DO carefully drive away and be mindful of all traffic laws – cautiously merge back into traffic, signaling accordingly.

DON'T drive off until the officer gives you permission to leave and gets back in his/her car.

DON’T get out of your car - unless asked by the officer to do so.

DO thank the officer regardless of the outcome of the encounter, and ask the officer if you are free to leave.

If you are given a ticket, you will have to decide whether you want to plead guilty by paying the fine, challenge the ticket, or take other action.  Every situation is different, so it is impossible to cover every possible variation in an article.  Please call me at (763) 450-9494 to set up an appointment to discuss your situation.

WARNING: The information contained in this article does not constitute legal advice and may not be applicable to your situation.  Reading this blog post does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Baland Law Office, P.L.L.C.  You should always discuss your situation with an attorney before taking any action based on what you may read in this blog.  To that end, please call (763) 450-9494 to set up an appointment to discuss your situation.