What To Do if Your Car is Pulled Over by the Police

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Getting pulled over by the police happens to almost every driver at least once. But whether it’s your first or your tenth time getting pulled over, it’s bound to make you feel a little nervous and scared. Cop cars are scary enough in your rearview mirror when they don’t have their lights and sirens on, nevermind when they do.

No matter why you’re getting pulled over, you’ll want to keep a few things in mind throughout the process to make it as comfortable, easy, and safe as possible. Getting pulled over will always be a little nerve-wracking, but if you know exactly what to do when you’re pulled over, it won’t be such a big deal the next time it happens. Just keep these things in mind, and it should be smooth sailing.

Pull over quickly and safely

As soon as you see flashing blue and red lights in your rearview mirror, you’ll want to begin the process of pulling over. Start by slowing down and putting on your blinker, as that shows the officer that you are planning on pulling over when it is safe and convenient. Don’t slam on your brakes or swerve to the side of the road - just get over to the shoulder calmly and safely.

Act calmly and be compliant

Once your vehicle is pulled over, you’ll want to do everything you can to make the police officer feel comfortable, safe, and not threatened. Start by turning off your vehicle and rolling down your front windows. Turn off or put away any distractions, such as music that is playing, or a lit cigarette. Then place your hands on the steering wheel, in the 10-and-2 position, so that the officer can see them at all times. When the police officer asks for your license and registration, say where it is and ask if you may reach for it. Little things like this go a long way towards making the officer feel as though you are not a threat.

Answer any questions from the officer politely and accurately. If you believe you were mistakenly pulled over, calmly ask what the reason is for your stop. If you know why you were pulled over, apologize, and try to explain why you were breaking the driving laws. Whatever you do, avoid arguing with the police officer; that’s better left for court.

The police officer may ask you to sign your ticket, which you should do, even if you are innocent. Signing your ticket does not admit guilt, and you can still contest the violation at a later date. If the officer asks you to perform a field sobriety test, you have the right to refuse it. However, if they suspect that you are drunk, you can still be arrested.

After the officer leaves

Once the officer leaves and you’re free to go, turn your car back on and calmly get back on the road. When you get a chance to pull over in a more convenient spot, do so, and take notes of the stop. Making notes of the exact location where you were pulled over, the traffic, and the weather conditions can provide you with extra evidence should you choose to contest your ticket at some point.

Getting pulled over by the police doesn’t have to be a big ordeal. Even though it may seem scary, the interaction is usually simple, straightforward, and quick. As long as you follow these steps, you’ll likely find your stop a lot easier and nicer than you were expecting.


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Rigoberto

9 years of experience
706 reviews
Rigoberto
9 years of experience
Chevrolet Equinox - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Niles, Illinois
Rigo was great! He got there early, finished the job early, left everything clean. He changed my rear pads and rotors. The original quoted time was 90 minutes, he was done in about 60. He knows what he is doing and I am recommending him to all my friends and coworkers.
Mercedes-Benz C250 - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Chicago, Illinois
Rigo is a maverick hands down. Don’t take your car for work elsewhere. Especially great at Mercedes—this guy knows his profession! I will be using him for everything related to my car going forward.

Arturo

25 years of experience
35 reviews
Arturo
25 years of experience
Kia Forte - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - San Diego, California
ARTURO is great! very professional , fast, replaced my front brake pads and oil an filter change. everything now works and works well. Brakes have much improved stopping power and engine is smooth and quiet.Arturo is also kind and thoughtful. "Your mechanic" is very fortunate to have Arturo Lopez represent your company. I enthusiastically recommend him and "Your mechanic> as a fine operation Best regards to the Team Peter Marto
Nissan Maxima - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - San Diego, California
Arturo was prompt and completed my brake repair, including new rotors in a very efficient manner. I am very pleased with the quality of the work and the parts and will definitely look to have him service our other car in the near future.

Scott

32 years of experience
345 reviews
Scott
32 years of experience
Lexus IS250 - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Denver, Colorado
Always on time, speedy, professional, and pleasant to interact with. The work is always consistent and we'll done. I can't reccomend Scott highly enough!

Michael

10 years of experience
15 reviews
Michael
10 years of experience
Nissan Sentra - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Conyers, Georgia
He was promptly on time and got the job done efficiently in a timely manner. I really appreciate the rapid respone on getting the job done! I would most definitely use this service again.

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