What To Do If You Are Pulled Over By Police

Mar 14, 2017Legal Tips, Traffic Tickets

If you are pulled over by the police in the Las Vegas, Nevada or the surrounding area here are a few tips to follow that will help ensure compliance and your best chances of successfully challenging or reducing a ticket or moving violation in court.

When a Las Vegas metro, North Las Vegas or Henderson police officer signals you to pull over always do so in a safe and controlled manner. Always use your turn signals to indicate moving to the shoulder or off the road. Do not brake excessively or weave between traffic in a capacity where the officer has trouble staying behind you. Most of all do not drive an excessive distance before pulling over, this often annoys officers and gives them cause for suspicion. Find a safe place either off the road or as far off the right shoulder as you can safely park to give the officer adequate distance away from traffic to approach your vehicle. If you cannot find a safe place or somewhere you are comfortable pulling over call 911 and request that they communicate your intentions to the officer.

Once your vehicle has stopped you should turn off the engine and make your best efforts to keep your hands visible at all times. Try to avoid pulling over in dark places, but if you have to, turn on an interior light so the approaching officer can see inside your vehicle. Do not open your glove box or any storage compartments inside the car to retrieve registration and insurance until the officer has asked to see this information. If you are inclined or the circumstances warrant, removing the keys and placing them on the dash while keeping your hands on the steering wheel may be appreciated by the officer. These measures are taken to alleviate the officers concerns that you may be planning to flee, retrieving a weapon, hiding something or other behavior that may put him on guard or consider you to be suspicious.

For more information on what to do if you suspect you are being pulled over fraudulently – click here
To learn more about what to do if police ask to search your vehicle – click here
To learn more about your rights if you are requested to get out of your vehicle – click here

When approached by police do not initiate conversation. Allow the officer to speak first at which time he will likely request to see your vehicle registration and proof of insurance. Do not be confrontational or insist an officer provide an explanation as to why you were pulled over or imply that you will not cooperate until they do so. Do not provide explanations for the charges or speak any more than you have to. Try to limit your responses to yes / no and provide the officer with all requested documents.

If you feel as though you have been pulled over illegally or that the officer is behaving in a threatening or unnecessarily intimidating manner, you are within your legal rights to record the situation. We recommend however, discretely using a cell phone or other record device as opposed to waiving cameras in the faces of the officers, as this not only will likely agitate the situation or worst case scenario give an officer further reason to feel threatened.

An officer has the option to let drivers of minor offenses off with a warning. At the same time however they may not know the guilt or severity of your violation and ask questions to try to incriminate you on the bases of your own responses. While cooperation at this point is often your best defense for avoiding a citation, be careful not to admit guilt or negligence on the basis that you were unaware of circumstances or not paying attention. Answers to your questions beyond acknowledgement could easily be used against you both on site and in court to as an admission of guilt. Be direct but do not be committal. If an officer says you were speeding you can acknowledge the charge by saying you understand but you do not have to admit that you were in fact speeding. Do not argue with the officer if he engages you with questions relating to the charges. You do have the right in these cases to not answer or remain silent and doing so cannot be used against you are as a testimony of guilt.

Your objective and best chances of beating a traffic ticket or violation while interacting with a police officer who has pulled you over is to be direct while not incriminating yourself by giving any more information than necessary. You do not need to be intimidated, but that at the same time you do not want to agitate the situation by being argumentative, as police have the power and authority to make a minor situation into a severe one should they feel inclined. Again it is important to comply and not put the officer in a questionable or threatening situation, but do not subject yourself to providing explanations or evidence that could be an admissions of guilt. Short, non-definitive answers are key but remain courteous throughout the entire exchange, even if you do receive a citation (it may not be your last from that officer). Also remember, signing a citation is not an admission of guilt.

If you do receive a citation The Las Vegas Ticket Authority can in almost all cases reduce a tickets severity including reduction of fines, penalties, points on your record, and insurance rate increases which can be substantial. Results may vary based on circumstances but success rates when retaining a traffic ticket lawyer who understands traffic law in the Las Vegas area are extremely high. To get started, simply submit your ticket information online or call our law office during business hours at 702-463-5600 to get a FREE evaluation and service quote.