Police Car Pulls You Over - What to do (and NOT do)
Updated: Jan 15, 2019
Common Sense Advice when you have been pulled over for a traffic violation and receive a citation! Five Things to Consider when you get a speeding ticket.
OK, so you see the flashing blue lights behind your car. Rats (or other expletive)! The following advice is for the 99% of people who are just getting a simple speeding ticket, failure to yield, failure to use turn signal, etc. If you were going 100 mph with unrestrained kids in the front seat (enhanced reckless driving with child endangerment) or drug running or any other serious felony such as a dead body in the car, you may want to exercise your constitutional rights. But, for the rest of us, please read on . . .
First things first, take a deep breath and resist the urge to get angry. Embarrassing or not, you MUST have a positive attitude and non-confrontational demeanor while talking with a police officer. WHY? Because, even if you didn't break a traffic law, you do not want to be "that guy" the police officer will remember for months after he pulled you over! Best advice ever: DON'T BE "THAT GUY"!
“Whether or not you broke a traffic law, being confrontational with a public servant will not get you anywhere, and it may get you arrested for something else!”
Second, acknowledge that you see the police cruiser behind you by putting on your hazard lights. Pull over your car as soon as you can safely do so. Turn off your car engine and put the keys on the dashboard (the police officer will appreciate that). If it is at night, turn on your interior lights so the officer can see that you are not hiding anything. The point is to make the officer "at ease" compared to other situations he or she encounters on our highways. Being polite will go a long way, and it starts before you ever have to visit a traffic violation attorney.
What to Ask the Police Officer That Will Help You With the Traffic Ticket
Third, give the police officer the information he requests. Stay in the vehicle until the officer instructs you otherwise. In Kentucky, the officer will ask you for your (a) drivers' license, (b) vehicle registration, and (c) proof of insurance. Promptly give it to the officer. Then, when the officer engages you in conversation about your driving infraction, provide honest answers. If you know you were speeding, acknowledge that you might have been going faster than the posted speed limit, but you didn't realize it. You could have been going down a long hill and just coasted to a higher speed.
Fourth, during the conversation with the officer, there is nothing wrong with YOU asking the OFFICER a few questions. For example, you can ask to see the radar or receive a printout of the radar's results. Ask when the last time the radar was calibrated ("Officer, how do you know this is right?"). If you didn't see the police cruiser before you were caught, ask where the officer was parked, how far back, or whether his cruiser was moving when he clocked the speed of your vehicle. These are good things to ask. If the officer does not answer your question, that is just fine. At least you asked, and if you contest the ticket, your lawyer will want to know the officer's answer or his refusal to answer these questions. Again, do not get argumentative with the officer; just simply ask your questions. You want to leave the scene as non-memorable as possible.
Fifth, if you know you broke a traffic law, sincerely apologize to the officer and say that it won't happen again. This goes a LONG WAY to forgiveness. The officer may decide to issue you a verbal warning. If you get a ticket, then at least he may remember your apology and choose not to fight you in court, or maybe not very hard. Note, some lawyers do not want you to admit that you were speeding to the officer. That is fine, too. Don't admit it. You can always say "Gosh, officer, I didn't know I was speeding. Was I really?" Please leave open the door for you to contest the ticket with a lawyer.
If you get a speeding ticket or other traffic citation, you Better Chat with Matt, and get his legal advice to work for you. You need his experience to get the ticket dismissed or, at least, the best deal you can get. Call Matt Bunch at 859-353-6434 to schedule a free consultation and email him a copy of your citation at email@example.com. Or, click on his booking link to schedule a time on his calendar to talk with him.