What to Do If You’re Pulled Over

The past few years have seen an increase in coverage of police misconduct. These range from unarmed killings to planting evidence on dead bodies. While this isn’t to say that all cops are even most cops are bad, it certainly makes sense that a lot of us get nervous whenever we’re pulled over!

Routine traffic stops are meant to be quick and easy. Still, I find myself clenching onto my steering wheel whenever I wait for the cop to approach my car! Of course, I had to think of a mental checklist of things I could do to make the stop end as smoothly as possible. Here are just a few of the things I do to put my mind at ease.

Have everything neatly organized

Any tensions that exist are only going to intensify if the cop has to wait for you to search around for your license and registration. Having these documents in your glove compartment means that you won’t waste the cop’s time by fumbling around for something that is buried in your floorboard.

Narrate everything that you’re doing

A miscommunication between a cop and a driver can be – and has been – fatal. If you’re reaching for a document or pulling out your wallet, make sure the officer knows what you are doing. It assures them that you’re not doing anything risky, and can help you in court if the officer tries to say he felt threatened.

Stay calm

It’s totally normal to be scared, but we all act a little odd when we’re nervous. If you’re a nervous talker, you may end up digging yourself into a deeper hole when dealing with a cop. Take a deep breath and don’t give any information that may be irrelevant.

Nerves also make us look suspicious. Our body language looks pretty similar when we’re nervous or guilty. We may have jerky movements, tight grips on our steering wheel, or we may even start sweating!

If a cop thinks you “look guilty,” he may take this as a sign to further search your car, even if you haven’t done anything wrong. This is a major hassle for both parties that’s often more trouble than it is worth. If they do decide to search your car, remain calm and don’t let your nerves take over while you’re waiting.

Record everything

In most states, it’s your right to have a recording of any and all interactions that may take place between you and a cop. A phone recording can be useful, but it can often be pulled out after any issue has started. Dashcams are great because they are constantly rolling and don’t require anyone to hold them- perfect for someone who is in a conversation with a cop.

If you need evidence in court for any reason, a dashcam can do wonders. The lawyers at Evans Moore, LLC would agree that you should use any evidence you have to defend yourself in legal situations. When the time comes, a recording of the incident may make or break your case.

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