Your reaction may alarm or upset the officer and set the tone for the rest of your time with the officer.
Keep body movements to a minimum. if you have a medical condition, notify the officer when he/she approaches you.
Keep your hands in view of the officer and get your thoughts together.
Make eye contact with the officer. The officer will know the he/she has your attention and you will know that you have the officers attention.
Notice, or ask for, the officer’s name, badge number, and/or business card, if you deem it appropriate.
Remember, stay calm!
If you are stopped by the police while driving.
Use your turn signal indicators and pull over safely.
Do not get out of your vehicle. Stay in your vehicle and wait for the officer to approach. Only get out if the officer asks you to do so.
Keep your hands on the steering wheel in full view of the officer, unless otherwise instructed by the officer.
When asked to provide your driver’s license, vehicle registration and/or proof of insurance, if it is not easily accessible, ask the officer if it is okay to get it from wherever it is (glove compartment, coat pocket, purse, console, etc…).
If you receive a citation,(ticket) ask the officer if you can explain, but do not argue with the officer. If you feel the citation was unwarranted, present your appeal in court not when you receive the citation. This way you may avoid a more serious complication.
You are required to sign the citation. However, signing does not admit guilt.
Notice, or ask for, the officer’s name, badge number, and/or business card, if you deem it approiate.
If you feel verbally or physically abused, report the incident immediately.
Reasons Police may stop you.
If you are near a crime scene and fit the description of a suspect.
Hanging out in known drug areas.
Acting suspicious (running, hiding, etc.) when police are near.
Walking with large and/or valuable items (television, stereo equipment, 2 or more bicycles, etc….).
Someone has identified you as the person who committed a crime.
If you are bad mouthing officers.
Playing loud music.
Violating traffic laws such as speeding, faulty lights or turn signals, loud or no muffler, erratic driving, improper lane change or weaving in/out of traffic.
In possession of an open container of alcohol.
Wearing clothing resembling gang members.
Unsupervised minor(s) out late at night.
If the police have stopped you, they think they have a reason to do so.
Note the time and location where you were stopped.
It is best to be calm, cooperate and identify yourself.
Provide identification, if requested.
Warn the officer if you are about to move. It is best to ask the officer if you may move before you move.
In many situations, you can talk your way into jail just as well as you can talk your way out of jail. Avoid being confrontational.
Notice, or ask for the officer’s name, badge number and/or business card.
If you believe that you were verbally or physically abused by the officer, you and/or your parent should file a written complaint at the police department’s front desk. Be sure to get a copy for your records.
This is designed to be helpful, but not a substitute for legal advise. Laws and individual situations may differ and these suggestions may not be appropriate for your circumstances. If you need legal advice, consult a lawyer. The information provided is a sketch of your rights and responsibilities. In any case, you are urged to use common sense when interacting with police officers.
If you are approached by police, it is not the time to “express yourself,” or worry about being “dissed” or disrespected, calm and mature heads should prevail. In providing this information to you, the bottom line is to prevent a negative confrontation with the police and perhaps keep you out of jail or other harm.
STAY CALM – ACT MATURE
KEEP A LEVEL HEAD -USE COMMON SENSE