Skip to Content Top

What to Do When Stopped by Police


If you've been pulled over by a law enforcement official, there are a number of things that you should do to decrease the risk of a ticket or an arrest.

1) Pull over to a safe area.

Don't stop in the middle of the street. Find a shoulder on the road. A safer police officer might make a more pleasant police officer.

2) Keep your seatbelt on.

If you take off your seatbelt, the police officer might not believe you were wearing your seatbelt at all; hence, you will receive a ticket. By removing your seatbelt, you are also making sudden movements, which might be viewed unfavorably to the police officer.

3) Pull over quickly.

This is not the time to drive 5-6 blocks to find the perfect place to stop. The police officer might think you have something to hide, like guns or drugs, so he may be more aggressive if he feels you are ignoring his command. By coasting, you are guaranteeing an encounter with a suspicious police officer.

4) Keep engine running.

It is illegal to park on the side of the road. There is no point in increasing your chance of a ticket. Also, if your car is older, there is a risk your car may not start again.

5) Keep hands on the steering wheel.

Sudden movements may be viewed as aggressive movements. Aggression may be met with aggression from the police officer.

6) No Smoking.

See #5. Plus it is disrespectful.

7) Remain calm and don't be confrontational.

If you seem nervous, the officer could get suspicious. Also, be VERY respectful, but remember the government has the burden of proof.

8) Don't say anything that could incriminate you.

Remember you don't have to tell the officer how fast you were going even if he asks. Also, you don't need to argue over whether you made a complete stop.

9) Stay in the car.

Usually only a drunk, angry or wanted person tries to get out of the car. If you are "bad enough" to get out of the car, the officer might treat you accordingly. On a side note, if you have to exit your car, you are probably going to jail. There is no point of trying to talk your way out of the matter.


If you want more helpful tips on what to do after you've been pulled over, then call my firm. As a Peoria criminal defense attorney, I have had much experience with police procedure and training. I offer a free case evaluation for those that are interested in retaining our services.

Share To:

Contact Us for Your Consultation

  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.
  • By submitting, you agree to be contacted about your request & other information using automated technology. Message frequency varies. Msg & data rates may apply. Text STOP to cancel. Acceptable Use Policy