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

Things You Can Do to Make It through a Traffic Stop


When a police officer pulls you over, the first few moments can often make the difference between getting a warning and getting a citation. Here are some tips for helping you minimize the impact of being pulled over:

  • Shut off your car—Even if it’s cold outside, you need to turn off the vehicle and take the keys out of the ignition. Otherwise, you appear to be a flight risk. By willingly turning off your car, you show your willingness to cooperate.
  • Make yourself visible—If it’s dark, turn on your dome or interior light, so that the officer can see you.
  • Don’t do anything until the officer tells you to—One of the biggest mistakes people make is trying to anticipate what the officer will want. Don’t pull out your driver’s license until the policeman asks for it. Don’t fish through your glove box for your registration or proof of insurance until requested to do so. The officer may not know what you are doing and may fear that you are reaching for weapon or hiding evidence.
  • Never get out of your car unless asked to do so—This will automatically be perceived as either an aggressive act or an attempt to hide something. Stay behind the wheel unless asked to move.
  • Be as courteous as you can—Roll down the window before the officer arrives, extinguish a cigarette (if you are smoking), turn off the stereo and put down any food, beverage or other item. Let the officer initiate the conversation and answer honestly and succinctly.

Contact Attorney Edward M. Janzekovich

To schedule an appointment with an experienced New Jersey municipal court defense attorney, contact my office online or call me at 732-257-1137. There is no cost or obligation for your first meeting. Evening and weekend consultations are available by appointment. I accept all major credit cards.