Nobody ever wants to be pulled over by the police. No one wants to hear those sirens behind them and realize that the police car isn’t in a chase, but they’re actually trying to get you to stop! Whether you’re driving home after a party with friends or just going to work, it can be daunting and often scary to hear those sirens blaring behind you.
But if you’re certain you’ve done nothing wrong (or even if you have done something wrong) it’s always best to calmly pull over to the side of the road and wait patiently for your fate. So to help you out in this troubling situation, we’ve prepared some tips that you should definitely be listening to.
1. Is the officer actually chasing you?
It’s difficult to tell if you’re the one being pulled over. Just make sure you’re looking in your mirrors to see if the driver is looking at you. You should be making way for the police car anyway, but if they follow you as you pull over to make room for their car, then it’s very likely that you’re the one they’re trying to stop. If you’re certain that it’s you, then don’t panic and speed off to try to avoid them! That will only add more trouble to an already precarious situation.
2. Acknowledge that you’ve seen the officer
Acknowledge you’ve seen the officer by pulling over and turning on your flashers. Make sure the place you pull over has plenty of space and isn’t going to be a hazard for other drivers.
3. Stay calm when they approach
Whatever you do, don’t get out of the car. Getting out of the car might spook the officer and cause them to think that you’re going to be aggressive. Instead, stay calm and just turn off your engine. Roll down your window and turn on your dome lights if it’s dark.
Take a few deep breaths and make sure you’re ready to speak to the officer. If possible, stay still and keep your hands on the steering wheel so that the officer has no reason to think that you’re a threat. If you have your hands in your pockets or at your sides, then the officer might think you’re going to pull a weapon out.
4. Speak to them and answer questions, but never admit wrongdoing
If you have been pulled over for a crime, even if it’s a small one, never admit wrongdoing. Everything you say is likely recorded and can be used in court. If you’ve been pulled over and charged with a DUI, then you can always seek a DUI attorney in the future. There’s no point fighting over the ticket right now.
If the officer asks you to get your documents out, do so slowly and deliberately so it doesn’t look like you’re about to pull a weapon out. However, if you are carrying a weapon of sorts, state laws might require you to let the officer know about your concealed carry.
5. Try just apologizing
Not every officer is out to penalize you. Some officers just want to see if there’s anything wrong. If they notice that you’re calm, collected and friendly, a simple “sorry” might do the trick and get them to leave you alone. This won’t always work, but it’s worth a try!