Whether you’re speeding or driving a certain car, most people get pulled over at some point. Sometimes the police will warn you, other times they’ll give you a ticket, and worst case scenario, they’ll feel threatened and take measures to ensure their own safety. A lot of the times, those things can happen because you’ve made a mistake in how you dealt with the situation. Here are some things you should avoid when you’ve been pulled over.
1. Acting nervously
This is a catch-22. Even if you’ve done nothing wrong, getting pulled over can be nerve-racking. However, a police officer can interpret your nervousness in many ways. They may think that you’re hiding something or that you’re going to act aggressively. Either can potentially lead to a lethal response from the officer.
That’s why the Art of Manliness suggests you stay calm and stay in your vehicle. Don’t give the police officer any reason to think you’re up to something.
2. Moving erratically
This goes hand-in-hand with the mistake of acting nervously. According to the Art of Manliness, the police officer can interpret any erratic movement as aggressive. Irregular movement can mean a lot of things in this context. Whether it’s moving your body or hands a lot or driving erratically, these actions can be translated as suspicious.
That’s why, on top of being calm, you should keep your body calm and still too. Bring your vehicle to a standstill promptly and keep your hands on the wheel unless told otherwise.
3. Talking too much
At this point, you’ve likely avoided raising too much suspicion. However, the officer likely pulled you over for a reason. For many people, it’s because the cop thought they were speeding. If this is you and you plan on fighting the ticket in court, a mistake many people make is talking too much. Remember that anything you say can be used against you in court.
That’s why you should keep your answers short and to the point. Sometimes officers will ask you trick questions that will indicate guilt. You can avoid them by saying something simple like “I don’t know.”
4. Not being civil
It’s true, many people don’t like the police. But not being civil is one of the simplest reasons why an officer will escalate a situation and turn a warning into a ticket. Remember that the police are humans, too, and they’d like a civil and calm traffic stop. Refer to them respectfully. Apologizing can often get you out of a ticket if you’re sincere.
Being civil goes hand-in-hand with the advice of staying calm. Being visibly angry will escalate the situation. Even if you think you didn’t do anything wrong, as the Art of Manliness explains, argue it in court, not on the road.
5. Consenting to a search
This comes from your constitutional right, the fourth amendment, in fact. You don’t have to allow the police to search your car, even if you’ve done nothing wrong. If they have probable cause, they can search it anyways. But if they don’t and they ask for your consent, there’s nothing stopping you from just saying no.
This could save you from more fines, according to the Art of Manliness. It’s possible that someone left an empty beer bottle in your car and that’s an open container violation in many states. But if you didn’t consent to the search, then it wouldn’t even come up.