What to Do When You Have Been Stopped by the Police—Part One

Ways to Safely and Effectively Respond to a Traffic Stop


It’s one of those things that almost always puts a lump in your throat, whether you’ve never been pulled over or you’ve been charged on a number of occasions with drinking and driving—when you see the blue flashing lights behind you. The police generally have some discretion—you might get a ticket, but you might escape with a warning—and a lot of what happens can be based on how you initially respond. Here are some guidelines for helping minimize the negative ramifications of being pulled over.

Pull Off the Road as Soon as You Can Do So Safely

You want to pull over as soon as possible, but only in ways that will be safe for you and the officer. If you’re on a narrow and busy road, the officer will likely appreciate if you wait to pull into a parking lot or turn off. In addition, you don’t want to slam on the brakes or cut across traffic to get to the shoulder.

Many people incorrectly assume that, by pulling over quickly, you’re acknowledging that you’ve broken the law. To the contrary, it will likely indicate to the officer that you were paying attention to the road.

Obey All Traffic Laws and Signs

If you’re changing lanes or turning into a parking lot, use your turn signal. Make certain you stop at all lights or signs, and don’t make an illegal turn just to get off the road. If you do pull over to the shoulder of the road, go as far to the right as you safely can, so that the officer can come to the driver’s side without being on the road.

Contact Attorney Edward M. Janzekovich

To schedule a free initial consultation, contact my office online or call me at 732-257-1137. Evening and weekend consultations are available by appointment. I accept all major credit cards.