Dennis R. Boren
NEVER Do These Things When Pulled Over By Police!
This is Dennis Boren, criminal defense attorney and former felony prosecutor. Today, I want to talk to you about what not to do when you’re pulled over by a police officer. Most of us are going to get pulled over at some point by a police officer. I did a couple weeks ago, so I happily followed my own advice.
DO NOT TRY TO FLEE
First of all, this might be kind of a no brainer, is don’t put the pedal to the metal and make a lot of quick turns and flee. That is a felony in Texas, and you might have created yourself a situation that’s far worse than what was true before you did that.
In fact, the officer may be stopping you just to tell you have a brake light or a taillight out, or your license plate light, something simple, something for your own safety. And you open yourself up for a liability or a felony charge.
AVOID FURTIVE GESTURES
Also, do not make any gestures or things called furtive gestures. In the law, that just means where it looks like you’re trying to hide something, or making a lot of fast moves, a lot of commotion in the vehicle. This will cause officers to be pretty nervous.
KEEP YOUR HANDS VISIBLE
In fact, keep your hands visible, put them on the steering wheel, or if you choose to come out the driver side window. Officers will appreciate that, and that might give you a better outcome because that’s a courteous thing to do. They do a very dangerous job. Think about it. The police are really putting their lives on the line every time they approach a vehicle.
ABOUT IDENTIFYING YOURSELF
Now, one thing to always do is give your identifying information, your driver’s license if you’re driving. Of course, you don’t really have to identify yourself in Texas, but you’re going to end up doing that by giving them your driver’s license. Never give a false ID, and never say you’re somebody else. Those are all crimes.
Now, as always, if you have questions to follow up on the subject, or related subjects, please reach out to me. I’ll be happy to answer those.
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO
Keep your video app ready to go on your smartphone. When an officer approaches, turn it on, and you will save yourself a lot of misery. Also remember that anytime an officer is asking you questions, and you’re the least bit uncomfortable, just say, “Look, I’m not comfortable going forward without speaking with an attorney.”
That will build an absolute wall, particularly if it’s recorded. Anything that’s done after that point will not be admissible as evidence unless you blurt out something without a question. So of course, don’t do that either. I hope this was helpful information