Have you ever been pulled over? For quite a few people, the answer to this question is yes. But for those of us who’ve never been stopped by the police, what are you supposed to do? It’s important to know your rights and responsibilities when you get pulled over. Ensuring this will help the situation move along and knowing your rights can help protect yourself and ensure they’re being respected.
Your responsibilities when stopped by the police
If hear a siren and see blue and red flashing lights behind you, there are a few things that you’re required to do, regardless of whether you believe you pulled over for a valid reason or not.
You should try to find a safe space to pull over to as quickly as possible. Use your turn signal to indicate where you plan on going and slow down to a complete stop. A safe space means an area where you’re not obstructing traffic. If you’re unable to pull over to a safe spot, use a benign hand signal to alert the officer and remain driving the speed limit until you come to a safe place.
Remain in your vehicle (unless directed to step out)
After coming to a complete stop, remain in your vehicle. Don’t unbuckle your seatbelt or exit the vehicle – as these actions can come across as threatening or questionable to the officer. Keep your hands within view (such as on the steering wheel). Only exit your vehicle if the police officer instructs you to do so.
Roll down your window
Roll down your window as the officer approaches your vehicle. This allows the police to communicate with you clearly and allows you to pass your license and registration over to the officer for inspection.
You’re legally required to carry your license, registration, and proof of insurance whenever driving. Before anything else, the officer that pulled you over will typically ask you for these documents. If the papers aren’t within visible reach, tell the officer what you’re doing and slowly uncover them.
Remain calm and avoid confrontation
Avoid confronting or arguing with a police officer during your traffic stop. It’s best to remain calm throughout the situation. If you believe your charges aren’t valid or that your rights were violated, contact your Greenville SC personal injury attorney.