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Interacting With Police During a Traffic Stop

This article contains tips on interacting with police officers. This article was prepared by the Texas Young Lawyers Association.

20 Tips for Interacting With Police During a Traffic Stop

  1. Immediately pull over to the right. If possible, pull over in a well-lit area that is immediately available and free from other traffic.
  2. Put your vehicle in park, roll down your window and turn off the ignition.
  3. If it is nighttime, turn on the interior light.
  4. Do NOT attempt to run or flee the scene.
  5. Remain seated and do not attempt to get out of the car.
  6. Do not make any sudden movements.
  7. Keep your hands where the police can see them. If you must reach for your ID or insurance, inform the officer before moving your hands.
  8. Comply with the officer's request for identification and proof of insurance.
  9. If you are lawfully carrying a weapon, disclose it to the officer. 



10. If an officer gives you a ticket, sign it. It is not an admission of guilt. 

11. Do not argue with the officer: Anything you say can be held against you.    

12. Do NOT ignore the officer.

13. Answer any questions to the best of your ability.

14. If the officer asks you to get out of the vehicle, immediately comply with the officer's request.

15. Do NOT touch the officer's weapon.

16. Do NOT resist arrest.

17. Confirm with the officer that you are free to go before starting your car and pulling off.

18. If you are arrested, clearly and immediately ask for a lawyer. Repeat your request for a lawyer as many times as necessary.

19. Do not discuss the incident with the officer or anyone else until you have spoken with a lawyer.

20. If you feel the officer is exceeding his authority or otherwise mistreating you, remember the officer's badge number, write down the details of the incident as soon as possible, and make a complaint via local law enforcement non-emergency hotline.                                                     


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