Tips to Avoid a Bad Encounter with the Police

Posted by Richard Lawson | Nov 12, 2016 | 0 Comments

No one wants to have an encounter with a police officer.  The best case scenario when interacting with the police is to walk away unscathed.  The worst case is to get a ticket or to be arrested.  Remembering the tips to avoid a bad encounter with the police will help you avoid more trouble than you may already have.  

Pull over as quickly as possible:  Police officers are easily agitated.  Unfortunately, they often assume the worst of people because they are in the business of dealing with bad situations.  When you pull over quickly, it shows the officer you are in compliance with the initial order, and everything will go better from there. 

Do not get out of the car:  A police officer needs to feel in control of the situation.  When in the confined area of a vehicle, they are more at ease with you and the situation. 

Turn off electronic devices and your radio: Show respect to the officer. Stop texting and turn down your car stereo.  If you are talking on the phone, end the call.  

Roll down your window and wait with your hands on the steering wheel:  When a police officer feels he or she is safe, they will be more at ease with you, and as a result, they will be more reasonable with you. 

Have your license, registration, and insurance card ready: Again, the issue is compliance.  Having your documents ready shows the officer that you are not interested in arguing or causing him or her any trouble. 

Apologize to the officer: If you know you were speeding or committed some other violation, admit it.  The officer already knows to what violation he is considering against you. Admit your mistake and then ask for a warning.

In speeding cases, ask to be cited for less than 15 miles per hour over the posted limit: In Georgia, you can pay a ticket of less than 15 miles per hour over the limit and no points will be assessed on your license.  They officer knows this as well.  If you are polite, he or she may cut you a break. 

Do not argue: If a police officer intends to issue you a citation or arrest you, there is nothing, short of God himself, that can be done to stop it. Arguing your case or resisting in any way will only result in additional charges being added, such as disorderly conduct and obstruction.

Keep your passengers quiet: Before the officer comes to your window, tell you passengers to behave and keep their mouths shut.  Anything said by someone else in the car will be attributed to the driver.

Drive away carefully after the police officer releases you:  The police officer will stop you a second time if you are not careful.  I have personally seen this happen to several of our clients.  Be careful to avoid a second ticket or even an arrest.

With these tips to avoid a bad encounter with the police you will have the best chance to drive off with only a ticket or maybe even a warning. 

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Managing Partner at Lawson & Berry:


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