What to Say (and Not to Say) When Pulled Over

Keep It Simple.

Don’t lie. Keep your answers short and simple.

The officer will ask “Do you know why I stopped you?” The correct answer is “No.”

Don’t try to argue or make your case to the officer.

Your best strategy is to practice “active listening” without saying anything substantive, e.g., “I see,” “That makes sense,” “Thank you for letting me know.”

Let the Officer do the talking.

Police officers are trained to act as though they might let you off with a warning but only if you cooperate and answer their questions.

The officer may be trying to appear open to hearing your version of events so that you will say something incriminating that the officer can use against you in court.

The officer will try to get you to admit that you committed a violation. For example, do not be tempted to apologize in the hopes of getting off with a warning. Saying something like, “Yes, officer, I know I was speeding, but I promise to be more careful next time,” is only an admission of guilt.

Sometimes, officers will try to get you to admit that you were not paying attention and you do not know whether you committed a violation or not. DON’T!!

Do Not Consent to a Search.

Never consent to a search of your vehicle. Consenting makes challenging the search later much more difficult.

If the officer has a legitimate reason to search your car they will get a search warrant to search it.

If a cop asks to search your car he’s fishing. Don’t take the bait.

Not agreeing to a search of your vehicle is different than refusing chemical test if you’ve been arrested for DUI. Don’t refuse the chemical tests. More next time.

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