By Jedidiah McKeehan
Okay, so maybe you were driving faster than you should have been. You see the blue lights behind you. Let’s walk through the do’s and don’ts from that point forward.
Do: Pull over as soon as possible. Pull way over, not just barely out of the way of traffic.
Don’t: Keep driving. Even if you are really close to your house, even on your street. Do not keep driving! Pull over as soon as possible.
Do: Turn off your car after you pull over and take your foot off the brake.
Don’t: Get out of your car. This is the biggest mistake you could possibly make. This will make law enforcement extremely nervous. Stay in your car!
Do: Find your driver’s license and your insurance card, and maybe your registration.
Don’t: Start moving like a crazy person inside your car. Remember, the officer is watching you and only you after they have pulled you over. Their dash cam and their body camera are going to be on and recording everything you say and do. The odds of you hiding an illegal substance between the time you get pulled over and the officer approaching your vehicle are almost zero.
Do: Be polite. I cannot overstate this enough. The number one thing officers remember from their interactions with the public is whether someone was nice or rude. Be over the top nice. To the point of it being creepy.
Don’t: Offer up information that you don’t have to offer. Don’t answer questions that are not asked. You cannot go to jail for speeding. It is a fine only. So, you may feel comfortable talking to the officer. But if you were drinking before you got pulled over, or have things present in the car that you may not want found, hand the officer your ID and insurance and politely (remember, being nice is huge) decline to answer any questions.
Jedidiah McKeehan is an attorney practicing in Knox County and surrounding counties. He works in many areas, including criminal, personal injury, landlord-tenant, probate, and estate planning. Visit attorney-knoxville.com for more information about this legal issue and other legal issues.