Sadly, our country has been on edge recently as high-profile cases of police-involved shootings dominated the news. If you’re driving in Durham and you see blue lights behind you, here are some important tips to know to keep the situation under control and to your benefit:
- Show the officer you intend to pull over by putting your flashers on and slowing down.
- Immediately find a safe area to go that gives the officer enough space to stand next to your driver’s side window without being in danger or passing traffic.
- To make the officer feel safe, turn your dome lights on, turn your engine off, roll your driver’s side window down and place both hands on the wheel where the officer can see them.
- Don’t reach for anything under the seat or in the glove box, even your insurance or registration, until the officer requests them. Quick movements towards areas of the car outside of the officer’s sight can put them on edge.
- You may be frustrated but do your best to control your emotions and be as civil to the officer as possible. You may be surprised at how far respect goes with many officers.
- Comply with any orders given by the officer. You may disagree with the charges or what the officer is doing but resisting them is not only illegal (NC GS 14-223) but often contributes to the tragic scenarios we hear about on the news.
- Don’t speak unless asked a question or addressed. People often say incriminating things to an officer (anything you say to them is admissible in court) without realizing it. Let the officer do most the talking and volunteer very little information unless it’s asked for. If you do not wish to answer a question, decline politely.
- Do not lie. If you do choose to answer questions, make sure what you tell the officer is accurate to the best of your knowledge. Misleading or directly lying to an officer who is performing his or her duties is illegal in North Carolina (NC GS 14-225).
It’s never fun getting pulled over, especially if you are charged or given a traffic ticket.
Disclaimer: Information above is not meant as official legal advice from our firm. It may not apply to all circumstances. If you need specific legal direction for your case be sure to contact an attorney.