What Not To Say When Pulled Over By Police

Getting pulled over by a police officer is perhaps one of the most terrifying experiences in a driver’s life.

When you’re cruising down the interstate and those blue flashing lights and sirens go off behind you, your breath stops. You panic. You nervously think about how terribly this could go if you’re not careful. Guess what? The officer behind you is thinking the same thing.

When it comes to getting pulled over by police, you want to do your best to put everyone at ease. That means saying the right things when the officer approaches your window. Don’t be combative, don’t be aggressive and don’t be overly forthcoming. Most importantly, don’t say anything on this list.

1. “Don’t you have better things to do?”

A police officer’s duties include enforcing laws—all laws. Sometimes they will be assigned to investigate tough criminal cases. Other times they will be assigned traffic routes. No, not all police assignments are equally glamorous. Nevertheless, it’s certainly not your job to tell them what their job is. Don’t tell a police officer that he isn’t doing his job by pulling you over. You’ll just annoy the officer and increase your chances of getting ticketed. If they pulled you over for violating a traffic law, they’re doing their job.

2. “I wasn’t going that fast.”

If you are pulled over by a police officer because he fired a radar gun, you have little to no chance of winning with this argument. If an officer you over because you sped past him, he still has the right to rely on his own eyewitness testimony. Debating a cop over your driving speed has few positive outcomes for you. If you want to challenge it, you can request to see the radar gun and its reading, or take your ticket to court. However, as you’re being issued a ticket is not the time to prove your case. An officer in a bad mood may give you a more severe ticket for your attitude.

3. “It wasn’t me.”

Another common defense in how to get out of a speeding ticket is telling an officer he or she pulled over the wrong person. It was the car beside you speeding that fast, or actually, the other person should be charged with reckless driving. Don’t use this argument – it won’t work. If an officer pulls you over, there is something they saw you doing. Claiming that someone else did it or that they should be focused on another crime won’t change their minds very often. Even if you’re right, unless you have video evidence you won’t be able to prove your case. In any case, pointing out someone else violated the law too won’t help you if you’re fighting a speeding ticket. As an officer would point out, two wrongs don’t make a right.

4. “I’m already running late for something.”

Officers don’t pull you over because they’re worried about your schedule – they pull you over because they’re carrying out police officer duties. Suggesting that justice should be curtailed because you have a doctor’s appointment won’t win them over. Officers are some of the first people to remind you that you can’t break the law because you have an emergency. That means pushing for the “I’m running out of time” excuse won’t help you.

5. “I pay your salary.”

When you’re pulled over by police for speeding, reckless driving or other moving traffic violations, don’t act like you’re the boss. Yes, you technically pay his salary. He technically pays his own salary too. Everyone pays his salary. That doesn’t affect his police officer duties. Not only will pointing out that you pay his salary not help you, it will definitely piss off the officer. Do not say this.

6. “I’m a very important person.”

“My brother is a cop.”

“I’m a city commissioner’s son.”

“I own several businesses.”

Cops have heard it all, and you aren’t going to curry favor by trying to pull rank. The law applies to everyone equally. If you get pulled over by police, chances are slim you will be able to dazzle the officer with your fame and power. Don’t try to get out of a ticket by suggesting you’re too connected to receive one.

7. “Will $20 make you forget about this?”

Officers generally pride themselves on enforcing the law. If you’re pulled over by police and your response is to try to bribe them, you’re going to have a bad time. Most officers will find very proposal disrespectful and have no problem writing up more charges. What’s the best trick for how to get out of a speeding ticket? Be polite, be upfront, and be respectful. Definitely do not violate more laws in their presence, and definitely do not bribe them.

8. “I hate cops.”

When getting pulled over by police, be respectful. Whatever your personal feelings about cops are, now is not the time to state them. If you lead a cop to believe that you aggressively dislike him, chances are he will aggressively dislike you too. A cop that doesn’t like you is not a fun cop to hang out with. Don’t create unnecessary enemies by showing unnecessary hostility. Be polite to the officer.

9. “You don’t have the right to search my car.”

You still have rights when you’re pulled over. Violating a traffic law does not automatically give an officer the right to inspect everything inside your vehicle without permission. However, an officer does not necessarily require a warrant to inspect your vehicle – just probable cause. You have the right to refuse to consent to a search. However, examples of probable cause include the driver behaving nervously or erratically, a smell from the vehicle or something suspicious seen in plain view. Proving there wasn’t probable cause can be a challenge. If the subject of a search doesn’t come up, don’t bring it up yourself. If it does, politely and firmly state your rights – but don’t be surprised if they search anyway.

10. “Yes, I did whatever you say I did.”

If you’re pulled over by police, you don’t have to throw your hands up, cry and plead guilty. You still have rights when pulled over. That includes the right to not incriminate yourself and to refuse to be searched. If you didn’t do something and know you didn’t, do not admit guilt. That can be used as evidence against you if you try to take the case to court. For example, if you’re planning on fighting a speeding ticket that an officer is issuing you, don’t apologize and say you won’t do it again. That suggests guilt and may be brought up in court. Use phrases like “I understand,” “Okay,” and “Thank you, Officer.”