What To Do When Getting Pulled Over

What To Do When Getting Pulled Over

The lights begin flashing, your heart starts racing, and beads of sweat start dripping.  You’re blinded by the bright spot light behind you as you place your vehicle in park.  You sit there anxiously anticipating what comes next.   You’re trying to stay calm and but your nerves and thoughts steal your focus.  You’ve just been pulled over.  So what do you do next?

Don’t make any quick or sudden movements that might indicate that you’re under duress, anxious, or impaired.  Roll down your window, place your hands on top of the steering wheel where the officer can see them, and then wait.  Once the officer arrives and assess his/her own safety, the officer will ask you for your license and registration.  So calmly comply.


After complying, be sure to know what your rights are, when to speak, when to be quiet, when to allow a search, and when to request an attorney.

“Do you know why I pulled you over?” Will most likely be the first question that an officer asks you.  You don’t have to answer.  Don’t be fooled by this question.  Your answer to this question will be the CONFESSION that will be used against you.  Silence would be a great option at this point, or you could simply “Plead the Fifth.”


Rule of Thumb: “If you don’t talk, you walk”

5th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution

“No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”


If the Officer is going to issue a citation or arrest you, there is NOTHING you could say that will be used FOR you or in your favor, but as stated in the MIRANDA WARNING, anything you say can and will be used AGAINST you.

The Officer will usually look for a way to enter your vehicle to search it. Often, they will even ask for your permission to search. Legally there is only 2 ways an Officer can search your vehicle.


  1. You give them verbal consent to search your vehicle
  2. The Officer has probable cause to search your vehicle

If the Officer asks you, “Can I search your vehicle?”, they are asking because they do not have probable cause, and they are seeking verbal consent. If you don’t want to be searched, simply decline, or simply remain silent (because it is your 5th Amendment Right).

A Probable Cause Search takes place when an Officer has reasonable suspicion that a crime took place.  They see illegal weapons, drugs, paraphernalia, or they smell alcohol on your breath.  If there is probable cause, the Officer can legally search your vehicle without your permission.  If a search is conducted without probable cause or without your consent, then it is an unreasonable search and seizure, and any evidence that is found during this illegal search will most likely not be admissible in court.

4th Amendment of U.S. Constitution

“the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

In Conclusion

  1. Be respectful to all Law Enforcement
  2. Remember your legal Constitutional Rights
  3. Utilize YOUR 5th Amendment Rights when being questioned
  4. Utilize YOUR 4th Amendment Rights before a search is conducted
  5. Don’t fight the Legal Process alone, let KENNY PEREZ LAW help you!
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