Pulled Over by Police
I have been pulled over by the police many times in my life and blackjack career, and seem to have mastered the art of not even getting a ticket, let alone having a confrontation with an officer.
- Pull right over and get far enough off the road so both you and the officer are safe.
- Lower both the driver’s and passenger’s front window, because the officer might go to either side.
- At night, turn on your dome light so inside of the car is visible from the outside.
- Turn off car and put your keys on top of the dashboard in front of you.
- Have your license, registration, and proof of insurance available.
- Have your hands visible on the wheel with the above documentation for the officer to see.
- Remain calm. Even if you know it is a bogus ticket or reason, don't show agitation.
All of those things are done to keep both of you safe and also to also show the officer you are cooperating and less likely to be a threat even before contact has been made.
- Generally the officer will approach the car and ask for the documentation. You have it ready, so hand it to him.
- He often will ask you, "Do you know why I pulled you over?" Best answer here is to answer, "I'm not sure, officer, but I’m sure you’ll let me know." Answer that is the least smart-aleck tone you can. Don't tell him why, even if you know why. When he tells you, remain calm. If it’s bogus, there isn't any amount of arguing that will help. If he wants to give you a ticket or search your car, he probably will. But don't admit to anything.
- Pretty much standard for the next question is, "Where are you going?" with maybe also, "Where are you coming from?" I answer this honestly and straightforwardly. If you answer, make sure everything makes sense. Don't say, “I am driving to Chicago” when you are headed the other way. The truth contains no mistakes like this. Now if you don't want to talk, then just politely keep the conversation on the ticket and respond with, "I don't see what where I am going has to do with why you pulled me over for a burnt-out license plate light.”
- Usually with that, the officer will go back and look up all your info. Maybe write you a ticket/maybe not and then you go about your life.
Usually driving cross-country, police are looking for drugs headed east out of Las Vegas. If you are headed west towards Las Vegas, they are looking for the cash coming back. The last three times I have driven back east to see family, I have been pulled over by police asking about drugs. Those roads are major routes for drug trafficking, so I have come to expect my Nevada plates are going to be a concern to them. Never once have they searched my car or even given me a ticket. My game plan has worked all but once to get me out of any ticket locally in Las Vegas. Luckily, I found an inexpensive lawyer who can turn it into a parking ticket for $150.
If you have bankroll in the car, don't give permission to search the car. If there are two or more people in the car, it is likely the police may separate you to try to get "different stories" to conjure up "probable cause.” So try to get a truthful story down or all agree to exactly what you will say if you say anything.. Cops can and will lie to you! "Your friend Bobby just threw you under the bus and told me what you are up to!" It’s likely they are trying to get you to turn against Bobby -- all in trying to get probable cause to search. Remember the phrases, "I DO NOT give permission for any searches,” and if questioning continues, "Am I being detained or am I free to go?"
Finally, have some firm rules for the drive! NO DRUGS IN THE CAR! NO DRUG PARAPHERNALIA IN THE CAR! Try for NO GUNS in the car. If you do have a gun, make sure you know the state laws about carrying. Always assume you are going to be pulled over at some point! Don't have anything out in the open that police can see that will be a concern for them! If they want to be jerks, they will be! Don't do or say anything that can be twisted against you. Good luck!
Originally published on bj21.com Green Chip, edited for this format.