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The police can stop you for many reasons. For example, you may be speeding, have a broken windshield, or your vehicle may fit the description of someone they are searching for.

While no one wants to be pulled over, it is something most people will deal with at some point in their lives.

When you are pulled over, you may be frustrated and annoyed; however, you must ensure you remain calm and do not escalate the situation. Police are more on edge today than ever due to the significant increase in the intentional killing of officers. For example, in 2021, 73 officers around the country were killed, with two being in Colorado.

Learning what to do and how to keep things civil will ensure that you are not charged with additional crimes or experience other consequences.

The Right Way to Pull Your Vehicle Over | Traffic Stop Survival Guide

If you are being pulled over for a traffic stop, there is a right way to do this. Never slam on your brakes if you see the red and blue lights behind you. Instead, begin to slow down immediately and use your turn signal to indicate you plan to stop.

Pull off the road completely onto a side street or the shoulder. Try to park your vehicle, so it is out of traffic flow. If there is no safe place to stop, drive slowly to another location.

Remain in your vehicle with your seatbelt on and turn the radio off. If passengers are in the vehicle, ask them to stay quiet and keep their hands visible.

Talking to the Police Officer

Be polite when talking to the officer. Greet them pleasantly, which will help reduce their stress and fears. The situation will likely be worse if you appear annoyed, angry, rude, or condescending to the officer.

Make sure to follow the instructions given by the officer and provide them with your registration, driver’s license, and insurance information when requested. Treat the officer with courtesy and respect.

It is fine to keep your answers short, such as “No sir” or “Yes ma’am.” Doing this will help your situation and may even result in the officer letting you go with a warning rather than a citation. Take off your sunglasses and keep eye contact with the police officer. This is a sign that you are being honest.

Try to remain inconspicuous. If the officer does not remember everything about your encounter, it can be beneficial if you go to court. You should also try to keep a record of what happened for your records. Take note of when and where you were stopped, your speed, and anything else that may be relevant. For example, what were the road conditions and traffic conditions like? Try to write down this information, so you do not forget.

If you are given a citation, take it, even if you do not think you did anything wrong. Signing the ticket does not mean you are guilty. It is only used to show that you received a copy of the ticket. If you refuse to sign the citation, the officer has reasonable grounds to believe you will not pay it or show up to court. In these situations, the officer is within their legal rights to arrest you. It is best to sign the citation and move on with your day.

What Not to Say When Pulled Over

When you are pulled over, the officer will ask you questions. Each question has a purpose. The officer’s job is to collect evidence they can use against you. They are not your friend and are trained to ask entrapping or leading questions.

Never admit anything related to how you were driving. Do not admit you were speeding or that you committed any other traffic violation. If you decide to fight the ticket, admitting guilt will reduce the likelihood of success in your case.

What to Do if the Officer Searches Your Vehicle

You are protected from unreasonable search and seizure by the U.S. Constitution. Usually, an officer must have a search warrant to search your person or property.

However, this warrant is not required if you consent to the search. Another exception is probable cause. If the police officer believes an illegal activity is happening or has seen evidence that a search of your person or vehicle will reveal evidence of something illegal, your consent is not required.

Protecting Yourself and Your Rights When Pulled Over by the Police in Colorado

Being pulled over is not something most people look forward to. However, knowing what to do in these situations is beneficial. Keep the information above in mind, which will help you avoid serious issues.


Remember, the police have a job to do. If you remain polite and compliant with their requests, the process will be much easier and less time-consuming for everyone.

If you have received a traffic citation and believe you were not guilty of the infraction, our legal team at the Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani, LLC, can help. We understand the law and will help you fight the charge in court.

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