How should you act if you are ever pulled over by the police while driving?
What if the officer has an attitude?
There is an old saying; the best way to take a chip off of someone’s shoulder is to let them take a bow. If you get pulled over by a police officer and he or she seems to be unpleasant at first, unless you have been driving really badly, you are probably not the reason for the bad attitude. More than likely, someone has been “kicking the officer’s cat” that particular day and then you happen to come along. One thing you should never do is act like a wronged taxpayer and remind the officer who pays his or her salary. Be polite, cooperative and respectful. Addressing an officer in this manner will make you stand out from the majority of the public that the officer will encounter during the shift and may result in a verbal or written warning instead of a financial penalty, which may also translate into an insurance surcharge.
I am criminal defense attorney Peter Paulousky. In later blogs, I will take you through some various stop scenarios with tips based upon real life experience of 37 years during which I have been a full time police officer, a prosecutor and private attorney.
For now, remember that
- how you act at a stop goes into a police report;
- what you say gets repeated at a hearing; and
- the police do talk about their day in the locker room, so don’t give the officer any reason to take out his or her bad day on you.