How to Act If You Get Pulled Over by Police

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Flashing blue lights on white police car at night

Most of us have been there at one time or another, driving through Golden or Jefferson County or elsewhere when suddenly police lights appear in the rearview mirror. How a person responds to such an occurrence often determines if they head to jail and an appointment with the bail bond agent or they are given a slap on the wrist and allowed to carry on about their business. In this post, the team at Tayler Made Bail Bonding provides some useful tips that may help prevent your next encounter with the law from spiraling out of control.

First Things First: The Police Settle in Behind You, Lights Ablaze

As soon as you become aware of police lights behind you and all indications are that you are the focus, pull over to the right-hand side of the road as soon as it is safe to do so.

Some people are under the impression that pulling over quickly somehow constitutes an admission of wrongdoing. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, failing to pull over quickly and safely is going to raise red flags with the pursuing officer who will suspect that you A) have something to hide or B) are so inebriated that you are not aware of what's going on around you. As a result, you're likely to wind up in jail trying to arrange your release with the bonding company.

By pulling over quickly and safely you demonstrate you are in complete control and that you have a healthy respect for what the lights represent. Nothing will get under a police officer's skin faster than feeling they are being disrespected.

Pulling over quickly also draws a boundary around any alleged wrongdoing. You can be certain that whatever allegedly happened, happened before the lights appeared in your rearview. By contrast, if you continue on without pulling over the original infraction may get lost under a slew of new charges related to your failure to stop.

So You've Pulled Over and Stopped, Now What?

It should go without saying that if someone is visibly drunk the best thing that could happen is that they are taken off the road immediately and taken to jail.

But let's assume for a moment that you are not drunk. Here's how you should handle the unfolding encounter in that case.

  • Stay inside your car unless the officer directs you to get out.
  • Do not make any sudden moves the officer could interpret as hostile.
  • If the officer approaches your door and asks you to lower your window, lower it.
  • Keep your hands where the officer can see them and address the officer in a respectful manner.
  • You can ask why you are being stopped, but do so in a calm manner.
  • Remember, we're assuming you haven't been drinking, so if the officer asks, tell them the truth.
  • Don't reach for the glove compartment to get your registration until directed to do so.
  • Stay in the car while the officer goes back to their vehicle to check your papers.
  • If the officer returns and asks something like “Do you know how fast you were going?” tell the truth.
  • Stay calm, demonstrate remorse for the alleged infraction and vow to never do it again.
  • If the officer returns and asks if they can search your vehicle you have a right to refuse and you probably should (but in a respectful way) until you talk to a lawyer.

A couple of notes:

The officer may ask you to take a field sobriety test even though you haven't been drinking. The problem is testing machines are sometimes poorly maintained and may produce a false positive. If you have a rock-solid alibi to back up your assertion that you weren't drinking, you may consider taking the test. But it's up to you.

Also, it's in your interests to have your registration and proof of insurance bundled together at all times in the glove compartment where they are easy to access, just in case you ever get pulled over. Fumbling around looking for these things is only going to arouse suspicion in the officer and perhaps earn you a date with the bail bond agent.

Finally, bear in mind that most police officers these days wear body cams. So if you are of a mind to try some funny business thinking it's going to be your word against the officer's, think again. The body cam footage will be a testament to exactly what happened.

For Affordable Bail Bonds You Can Trust Call Tayler Made

Getting stopped by the police is always a stressful situation, but it does not have to devolve into a legal nightmare, (unless of course, you are drunk). The most important thing to remember is that if you relax and engage the officer in a respectful manner your chances of driving away afterward are excellent.

At Tayler Made Bail Bonding we have seen what happens to people who take a confrontational approach when dealing with the police. In many cases if they hadn't done that they wouldn't be calling us to arrange 24-hour bail bonds for them.

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Tayler Made Bail Bonding is available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.

(303) 623-0399
3595 South Teller Street
Suite 300A
Lakewood, CO 80235