Mods, I wasn’t sure where the correct place for this is, as it will only touch on CCW issues. The CCW subject has been well addressed in other threads. Please move if needed.
I decided to take the time and type all this out because I have seen a few "what to do if pulled over" threads, and thought it might be helpful to others here. Nothing I say here is law, legal advice or double secret insider information; it is just my thoughts after a long day of making traffic stops. Other LEO's please add on, I am tired now and I am sure I haven’t thought of everything.
What to do before the stop-
You know when you are going to get stopped, you probably even know why.
You look in your rear view and see that cruiser on your bumper.
1-Maintain your speed. If you are going mach 3, gradually slow to the limit and sit tight. Don't jam your brakes, it won’t help you now. It also won’t help if you go 15 mph under the limit after you have been noticed, it won’t reduce the severity of your violation.
2- Don’t just pull over because you know I'm going to stop you, wait for me to signal
OK, now we have traveled a few blocks, and the overhead lights come on. Heres how when and where to stop.
1- those lights on top of a police car are not Christmas lights. It means pull to the right... not the left... the right. Did I say not left? Yup, pull over to the right. You never know, I may not be after you, but need to get around you! Just pull over to the right!
2-you don’t need to jam on your brakes, just ease on over and stop
3- You don’t need to find a "safe" place to pull over. That is my job; I turned on my lights when I did for a reason. I am willing to bet I know the area and traffic patterns a little better than you do.
4- if you must pull off the road and into a driveway, remember that there is another car behind you that has to fit in that drive way too. Don’t make me block the entire outside lane with my car. Also remember that we are now going to inconvenience the homeowner who won’t be able to use his driveway for the duration of the stop. If it’s at night, we woke them up too.
5- if you pull into a parking lot, please don’t pull into a parking spot. This is very annoying to me. Just pull over. If you pull into a spot, I have to block an isle with my car, among other reasons I won’t go into here, and it’s just very annoying.
5.5- stay parallel with your orginal direction of travel.
6- now is not the time to put your seatbelt on
So now we are stopped, and your about to meet me.
1- if you don’t have your papers ready, don’t be digging around in your car for them. Wait, and tell me you don’t know where your insurance card is, we will deal with it in a better manner. This is also the time to tell me if you are armed.
2- don’t complain to me that my spotlight is blinding you... Duh! Why do you think I did that?
3- save your cutie pooh jokes... I've heard them a million times. They are not funny the 1st time around, and they are not funny 1000th time. A perfect example of this is; when an officer walks into the room, yell out "I didn’t do it" or "Officer, arrest my buddy here for xyz" I have heard that stupid crap so many times it makes me want to puke.
4-Don't ask me "is there a problem officer?" Of course there is, I didn’t stop you because I want to have tea and crumpets. 95% of the people I stop know why I am stopping them. I know, you know so drop the act. If you truly don’t know why, wait until the officer is done talking, if he did not say why, then ask. I am supposed to tell you why, but I am human too and I do forget from time to time.
5- when asked for your D/L, just give it to me. Don’t play games like "I am not going to until you do this or that" You are picking a fight you will not win.
6- If you are guilty, admit so. I don’t care if you are late getting the kids to the pool. I care that you were speeding. Acknowledge your mistake, and I am far more likely to consider my job done with out giving you a invitation to a party at the court house.
If you are not guilty, court is not held on the side of the road. Make your arguments in the courtroom.
7- If you do not have insurance, don’t lie to me. People lie to me all day long; I know when people are lying to me. You are fooling no one.
If you do have insurance, have the card that proves so in your car. I cannot look up some magic number to see if you have it or not. I need the current card from your company to prove so. No proof of insurance means a definite ticket from me.
8- remember that I am just a regular guy with a family, friends and few dogs. I am not a uniform, and I am not the cop that mistreated you 15 years ago in Boise.
9- if you are a passenger in the car, a great rule to follow is "do not speak unless spoken to"
10- hands on the upper part of the wheel, dome light on. It’s a nice touch if you shut the car off too.
11- turn down your radio, don’t be on the phone. That is an instant ticket from me too.
12-if you are a woman, crying does not help you. If you show me any body parts that I would not normally see, you will get at least one additional charge. Although you may be a great looking woman, you are not worth my career or my marriage. And no, I won’t go out with you. I guess all that would go for guys too.:gah:
13- do not get out of your car for any reason, or open your door unless you are told to do so. That is viewed as a hostile move, and it will not be pleasant.
14- no, you may not see my radar. No, I am not required to show it to you. I will not bring anyone into my car without being secured.
15- watching TV does not make you a lawyer, or even knowledgeable about what my job is.
16- I dont care who you know. If you played golf with the chief last summer, good for you. He's the one who sent me out here to write you a ticket. Also, I play golf with him often.
I go back to my car for awhile, this is what I am doing; I am running out your history, both traffic and criminal. I am writing out a citation/warning and notes on my log card. This sometimes takes longer than I like due to radio traffic, and waiting on responses from other agencies.
Now we meet for the second time-
1-If I give you a ticket, don’t argue. It’s done at that point, your wasting both of our times.
2- you will be asked to sign the ticket. It is not an admission to anything. It is simply that you acknowledge the fact that you were issued at citation. Yes, I can and will jail you if you do not want to sign for the ticket. I can also keep your D/L as a bond.
3- keep in mind that you rolling a stop sign may not seem all that big of a deal, but it would be a big deal if we were on your street.
4-If I give you a break, it not because I like you, and we are not friends now.
5- sorry, nothing personal, but don’t try to shake my hand. I am not going to reach inside your car, that is a great way to get killed.
6- When we are all done, don’t sit on the side of the road putting all you stuff away. Move on down the road. I don’t want to sit behind you while you call your momma to complain about me.
I am sure I will think of more but I am tired. Feel free to ask whatever questions you have, or if you’re an LEO please add on.