Turn on your Right Turn Signal, Pull Over To the Right

Unless the area around you is very unsafe, carefully pull over immediately to your right. Officers tend not to like it when you continue driving to try to find a parking lot to pull over. They have no idea what you are up to, so it is best to just pull over as soon as it is clear to your right.


Roll Down the Window. Turn Off The Car. Put Your Hands at 10 and 2 on the Steering Wheel.

The more you can do to set the officer at ease, the better your chances that he will be nice to you. Officers never know what they are going to encounter, so showing them that you are not a threat is a welcome gesture.


Sit Still. Do Not Reach for Anything.

People often start going through their glove compartment, or reach into their pants or purse for their wallet. To a police officer, this is suspicious and will agitate them. Sit still and wait for them to approach.


Let The Officer Speak First. Be Polite. Follow Their Intructions. Do Not Argue.

The officer will probably ask you for your identification. Tell them where it is and that you are going to get it out. Do not get ahead of yourself and start arguing about why you were pulled over. Just follow their instructions.


When Appropriate, Respond to the Officer. Be Formal, But Avoid Sounding Patronizing.

If the officer asks you, "Is there any reason why you were speeding?" You will have many choices for how to reply. It is impossible to know for certain the best way to respond. It is rare that admitting to breaking the law will help, but on occasion it does. However, most of the time I would submit that the safest response to such a question would be: "I am sorry officer, I did not think that I was speeding. I am a very careful driver and I would never speed on purpose." Notice that you are not admitting guilt, but you also are not calling him a liar, which would be a big mistake. A similar response would be appropriate regardless of the officer's accusation.


Ask for Leniency

The time to ask for leniency is before the officer goes back to the police car. If you have a good compelling reason, say so. Try to keep it brief and reasonable. I have found that the following often works: "I understand what you have said and I am not going to argue with you sir. I would never break the law on purpose. Could you please give me a warning? I try very hard to be a good citizen and the last thing I want is to receive a citation." It might work, it might not. But it cannot hurt you.


Be Polite in Closing

Whether you receive a citation or not, be kind. You do not want to stick in the officer's mind, in case you may challenge the citation. Officers tend to make more detailed notes when you make threats such as "See you in court!"


Make Notes of What Happened

As soon as you can, make notes regarding everything you can remember. The time of day, the location, the weather, why you were pulled over, what the officer said, what you said, and any other information that you believe is relevant. Memory fades with time and this information could prove to be quite helpful.


Consult With an Attorney if You Receive a Citation or are Arrested

For cases big and small, there are thousands of attorneys that are more than willing to listen to the facts of your citation or arrest and tell you whether you need representation. Far too many people are afraid that an attorney will be too expensive so they never see one. Most attorneys are willing to meet for a brief, free consultation. I highly advise that you visit one.