What (Not) To Do If an Officer Pulls You Over

What (Not) To Do If an Officer Pulls You Over
Calendar icon March 24, 2021

When an officer pulls you over there are certain things you shouldn’t do. For instance, instead of panic and fear that you’ll go to jail, stay calm and collaborate with the officer. There is nothing to be afraid of if you were driving carefully. They might be pulling you over because of a faulty front light, because of a regular check, or simply to check you because something appeared suspicious about your car or you.

In case you get arrested (speeding, DUI, or anything else) make sure to contact a New York attorney when you get a chance.

Don’t Panic

Even though people have nothing to hide, and were driving completely carefully, when they get pulled over by an officer, it’s natural to feel a little panic. Remain calm when the officer pulls you over, and don’t try to argue, get out of the car or ask a million questions.

Just let the officer do their job.

Don’t Remove Your Seat Belt

Trying to remove the seat belt might not be the smartest thing. Until the officer can see what you’re doing, don’t try to remove it. Although this could be a habit when stopping your car, removing the seat belt (and the officer doesn’t see this) may lead them to think that you never wore it, which could lead to a ticket for this violation.

Don’t Speak Before the Officer Speaks to You

When an officer pulls you over, wait for the officer to talk to you first. Talking to them, asking them questions, or trying to argue may appear suspicious as if you’re hiding something.

Instead, let the officer take the lead and answer their questions.

Don’t Argue

You may feel the urge to argue when an officer pulls you over, especially if you believe that you haven’t violated the law anyhow. Fight that urge.

Stay calm and make sure you don’t argue with the officer. The fact that they are pulling you over doesn’t mean that you have done anything bad.

Arguing with an office can affect your record; if you were drunk or speeding, the arguing could affect the charge and you could easily get punished for this. If the officer reports hostile behavior, the judge will likely give a higher plea.

Sometimes, a kind and friendly demeanor may even help you get out of the ticket.

Don’t Reach for the Licence Without Telling the Officer What You’re Doing

Many people will automatically reach for their license when an officer pulls them over. However, any sudden movement can be perceived as a threat and you don’t want that. The officer may suspect that you’re trying to reach for a weapon, so be sure to stay calm and don’t reach for the license until they ask you to.

Also don’t roll your entire window; roll it enough so you can pass your license.

Keep Your Hands Where The Officer Can See Them

Your hands should be placed on the wheel. This way the officer will be able to see them. Naturally, the officer may feel nervous when approaching a car, especially if they suspect something. So, if they can’t see your hands, they may suspect that you’re trying to reach for a weapon.

Avoid Admitting Guilt

You might have speed, had a glass of alcohol, or did something else that violates the law. Whatever the reason the officer pulled you over, stay quiet and don’t start to admit that you were speeding or drinking.

When they ask you if you know why they pulled you over, don’t rush to guess the right answer. Their goal is to make you admit your fault. Instead to ask a question such as “Was I going over the speed limit” can put you in trouble. Instead, say that you don’t know, and avoid admitting any guilt (even if it’s true).

Stay in Your Car

Never get out of the vehicle when the officer stops you unless they ask you to do that. Although you are entirely innocent and have no bad intentions, this can lead to problems. The officer may see this as a threat, and react fast to this, so you might end up in a bigger problem.

No matter how long this takes, stay inside your car.

Remain calm and collaborate with the officer. Don’t threaten, don’t yell and answer their questions and whatever they ask you to do (field sobriety test, breathalyzer test, to step out of the vehicle, to open the truck, etc.).

Contact Cellino Law and get your free consultation.

Zoom Screenshot_16.png

Content checked by the personal injury attorney Ross Cellino. As a family man and a trial attorney, I pride myself on winning cases and serving the community. With over 35 years of experience, I understand the function of a jury, how juries arrive at conclusions, and the role that the jury plays in administering justice. I know how to win cases. You can find us in Manhattan, Buffalo, Melville, Rochester, Brooklyn, The Bronx, Queens and other locations throughout New York.



Free Case Review




  • I am writing this letter to say how much I appreciate your services pertaining to my case. Your injury attorney took a hands-on approach and left me fully informed at all times as to where my case was going as well as how much ground we had to cover; leaving the final decisions in my hands but making sure that I knew all of the risks involved in the choices. I have dealt with a few law firms in my life on various different cases and this is the first time that I never had to call and/or track down my lawyer… because of this, I have and will continue to recommend Cellino Law to my friends and associates.


  • My wife and I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for a fantastic job as our attorney. We could not have been more pleased with the work you and your team has done on this case. This past four years or so has been such a roller coaster for our family. We are very pleased and grateful with the result. We have made a good choice by choosing you. Thank you.


  • Thank you for all your help. It has been a long journey. At last, the light at the end of the tunnel. Also, thank Tom for the help and work he put in.


  • I just want to let you know that I did receive my settlement check. More importantly, I want to thank you again for all you did for both me and my family. I could not be more pleased with my experience at Cellino Law. From the moment I first spoke with you I felt comfortable - you took a sincere interest in my case, clearly explained the process and effected a quick settlement. From this day forward, when someone asks if I can recommend a good lawyer I will, without hesitation, say "Cellino Law". Thanks again.


  • This is to express our gratitude to you and your team in helping us and Stephanie navigate through the legal process following her car accident. We are very satisfied with the outcome and grateful for your hard work and attention to details. We fell confident that with this compensation, Stephanie will be able to move forward with her studies and her life with the ability to care for some of her health needs resulting from the injuries sustained following her car accident. Thank you very much and may God continue to bless your efforts.

    Jose & Rose

  • Thank you for your time, effort, and hard work on my case. I appreciate your expertise and compassion. I never experienced what I went through and I would have been completely lost without you.