Each and Everyday in New York, people are arrested when the initial contact with the police is from a simple motor vehicle stop. When you find yourself pulled over by the police, this tips will avoid having the situation escalate beyond a traffic stop.
Always be polite and respectful when stopped by the police
It never pays to be disrespectful or, in plain English, a wise ass. However, being respectful is NOT one in the same with failing to assert your constitutional rights. You need to assert your Constitutional rights (more about that below), but do so politely.
Never consent to a vehicle search or a search or your person
If the police, or think that they have, legal grounds to search your vehicle without your consent believe me, they are going to do it. So never consent to a search of your vehicle, or your person. You assert your right against a consent search by politely and calmly saying “I don’t consent to searches.” If the police persist in asking you why you don’t since you have ‘nothing to hide,’ just continue with “I just don’t consent to searches.”
Never answer police questions
Don’t answer questions about your recent whereabouts, where you are going, or what you are doing. You have an inalienable right to refrain from answering police questions. Just say politely and calmly “I don’t answer police questions about my travels.” If they ask why you won’t answer simply say “I value my privacy and care not to share that information with you.”
Don’t drive dirty
Make sure your license, registration, and insurance is all up to date. If you borrow someone’s car make sure their registration and insurance is up to date, as YOU are liable if it isn’t. Today’s police cars have passive scanners. If the plate gives a hit that the registration is suspended, the insurance has lapsed, or the registered owner’s license is suspended you are going to get pulled over.
Also, don’t have any contraband in the car. This includes not just drugs that are illegal per se, but other items such as gravity knives, prescription meds NOT in the prescription bottle, open bottles of alcohol, etc. Give the police zero chance and excuses to rip you out of the car and escalate the stop.
Don’t be afraid to ask if you are free to leave
Often times when the police are trying to elicit information you are actually free to go. However, they aren’t just going to tell you. As a consequence, it is up to YOU to say to the cop “officer, am I being detained or am I free to go.” Once they tell you that you are not being detained don’t stick around – LEAVE IMMEDIATELY.
Don’t be afraid to ask for a supervisor
If you believe that the cop is being overly aggressive, violating your rights, detaining you too long, or doing anything else improper, do not be afraid to ask the cop to dispatch his supervisor to the scene. The last thing a cop wants is a valid complaint.
Don’t be afraid to record the encounter
There is no expectation of privacy to anything in public, and the police are public servants. You have a right to video record the encounter. Some states limit the right to audio record without either consent or notice, so always tell the cop that you are recording if you are audio recording as well as video recording.
If you were arrested or given a ticket hire counsel
Speeding tickets, moving violations, and auto crimes are serious. Our law firm is dedicated to representing persons who are accused of such infractions and misdemeanors. If you or someone you know has been given a ticket or arrested, give us a call anytime 24 / 7 at 1-877-99-No-Tix or 877-996-6849.