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How to Interact With Police After You are Pulled Over

Getting pulled over by a police officer can cause stress and anxiety for anyone. It’s usually not a comfortable situation.

However, you can make this process go more smoothly if you know how to interact with police officers. Remember: officers can never be completely certain whether or not you pose a threat to them, so you should be smart about the way you act to avoid potential complications.

The following are a few tips to consider:

  • Prepare properly: Before the officer approaches your vehicle, put your car into park, switch off the ignition, roll down the window of the vehicle, put your hands where the officer can easily see them and turn on lights inside the car if it’s dark outside. Do not move quickly or suspiciously, and do not pull out any documents until the officer requests them.
  • Don’t get too chatty: Let the officer do the talking. You should especially avoid being defensive or hostile, as this will only cast suspicion on you. Do not apologize or attempt to tell your version of what happened. Officers are often trained into letting you say something incriminating, so your best tactic is to try to speak as little as possible.
  • Give simple responses: With that in mind, your responses should always be simple. If the officer asks if you know why they stopped you, simply say “no.” Do not attempt to argue. If anything, it is better to err on the side of silence.
  • Do not consent to searches: Officers might ask to search your car, but you should generally not consent. By providing consent, you give the officer an opportunity to make a search that he or she might otherwise not have the right to conduct.
  • If you are armed: If you are armed and have a concealed carry license, you should notify the officer immediately and tell the officer where the weapon is.

If you are facing criminal charges in Berks County, speak with knowledgeable and experienced Reading criminal defense lawyer David R. Eshelman.


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