You might feel nervous because you don't know what will happen when the police ask you to pull over on the sidewalk, but remember that the police officers who stop you are the most nervous about it. case. As a general rule, the more you cooperate to keep the police force safe, the more you keep it safe.
Part 1 of 2: Responding to the Police Request
Step 1. Know your rights
A police officer can ask you to stop your vehicle for any traffic violation, even the less serious. They can even follow you to catch you in the act. Never argue with a police officer, and never behave in a threatening or hostile manner. If you did, the police officer might respond by stopping you or in some other way.
A police officer cannot stop you because of your age, race, or the type of car you drive. If you believe you have been arrested for an illegal reason, record the interaction between you and the police officer if possible. Simply put your cell phone on the dashboard and record the conversation
Step 2. Find a suitable place on the roadside to stop
Slow down, turn on the turn signal and pull over to the right. This will tell the agent your intention to pull over. Try to find a parking lot or an open area along the road. Many agents will appreciate this gesture. Take the keys out of the starter and place them on the dashboard.
If it is dark and you are alone, you are allowed to drive to a well-lit area, such as a gas station, before stopping. If you want to drive until you find a well-lit location, call 112. Explain to them that a police car has asked you to pull over and you want to drive until you find a good location. enlightened. The operator of 112 will communicate this information to the car behind you
Step 3. Relax
Even though you might feel a little scared when a police car asks you to pull over, everything is going to be fine even if you are fined. Take a deep breath and remember that police officers are not mean or scary. They are there to protect everyone.
Step 4. Lower the driver's side window and tinted windows
If it's dark, turn on the interior light. Do all of these movements "slowly". The police officer is watching you closely to make sure you don't pull out a gun or hide something. Do not catch anything in the glove box or under the seat at all. As the officer approaches you, put your hands on the wheel so he can see them.
You can also take the keys out of the starter and put them on the dashboard. This shows the officer that you have no intention of running away
Step 5. Don't speak first
When the police officer approaches the car, they will usually ask for your license and vehicle papers. He does not have to explain to you why he arrested you before you show him the requested documents. When you move your hands, explain to the officer that you are going to take your license and the papers from the car. Catch them slowly. If you are in a dark area, the agent will follow the movements of your hands with his flashlight. Give him the documents before doing anything else, then put your hands back on the wheel. While the agent checks the papers you gave him, keep your hands on the wheel.
- Keep your driver's license and car papers in an envelope (preferably yellow or some other bright color), not a pocket. The envelope should be rather small. You should not keep your papers in an envelope large enough to contain a weapon. If your papers are in the glove box or under the seat (but this is not recommended), ask the agent if you can take your yellow envelope out of the glove box.
- If you do not have a license or the vehicle papers, the officer will stop you because you are driving without these documents or he will give you a fine. If you have a good excuse for not having these documents with you, the officer may allow you to present another form of proof of your identity. He will then use it to examine you. It depends on the agent, which is why you should never drive without a license or vehicle papers.
Step 6. Keep your answers vague and brief
Be polite and call the agent "Mr. Agent". You could ask them for their name or registration number. Open ended questions could get you in trouble. The officer may try to get information from you that will be used against you in court. He will include all the answers you give him in his report. Plus, as personal cameras become more common in interactions with police officers, everything you say or do is recorded. Here are some examples of how you should answer questions.
- If he asks you if you know why he stopped you, tell him "no".
- If he asks you if you know how fast you were going, answer "yes". If you answer "no", the officer will believe that you are not aware of the speed limit or the speed at which you are driving. If you really don't know, tell him, "I think I was going about 20 miles per hour".
- If the agent asks if you have a good reason to be in a hurry, answer "no". If you tell him "yes" he might think you were speeding even if you weren't and he will fine you.
- If he asks if you have been drinking and if you haven't, answer “no” in case he has stopped you because you were driving erratically. Also tell him that you are taking medication or that you have an illness that may affect your driving, if so.
- If the officer sees or smells a bottle of alcohol, he or she may ask you to breathe a breath or take a field sobriety test outside of the vehicle. You cannot be forced by the officer to blow the breathalyzer, but if you refuse, he can arrest you immediately and suspend your driver's license. If this happens, you may be forced to take a breathalyzer in prison, which is why it would be better to comply.
Step 7. Follow the police officer's orders
By refusing to follow the orders given to you by the police officer, the latter will deduce that you are trying to resist. He will then think that he must use force to make you do what he asks you to do. Avoid these problems and follow his orders.
- If the police officer sees illegal objects that are not hidden, he could open the door to grab them.
- Depending on the country, the police officer has the right to search the vehicle after stopping you for committing a traffic violation. He could search your car if he sees occupants engaging in illegal activities, if he smells something suspicious in your car, if he sees or hears things that endanger his safety, if you have open containers, potential weapons, etc.
- If the officer asks you if he can search your car, you have the right to refuse. If you refuse the search, it does not automatically make you suspect. However, the courts tend to be on the side of the police when it comes to the probable causes of the search. Even if the probable cause that prompted the search is not correct, it will still be considered legal.
- Don't discuss unnecessary things with the police officer. He knows exactly why he arrested you and anything you say could backfire on you. You have the right to remain silent and not to incriminate yourself. Do not speak except to answer the officer's questions. Do not also tell him about another agent you know, he might assume that you know each other because you have already been arrested.
- Do not get out of the vehicle unless he tells you to. This is almost always seen as a threat and it is safer to stay in your vehicle than outside in traffic. Keep your seat belt on. Even if the car is stopped, you can still be struck by a vehicle on a busy road. Besides, if you have your seat belt on, the officer has no reason to believe that you will try to escape.
Step 8. Know when a police officer can legally search your car
In France, a judicial police officer (OPJ) can search your car if there is a plausible reason for you (or your passenger) to suspect that a crime or an offense has been committed against you. attributable. In this case, the vehicle must be immobilized for the time strictly necessary for the conduct of the search.
- In the absence of this suspicion, the JPO may be authorized by prior written decision of the public prosecutor to search the vehicle, but only in the context of special operations targeting offenses relating to terrorism and the detention of 'weapons or explosives. The search must be made in the presence of the owner.
- Outside of these legal frameworks, you have the right to refuse the search. The OPJ can then immobilize the vehicle pending instructions from the public prosecutor. If thirty minutes have passed without any instruction from the prosecutor, you can leave freely.
Step 9. Be polite and don't argue with the officer if he gives you a fine
You will have all the time you need to challenge the fine in court. Thank the agent and stay in control of your emotions. If you believe you have been arrested for an illegal reason or that the officer has done something illegal, do not speak with him directly. Instead, try to remember his name for later.
- If the check takes too long, you have the right to ask the officer if you can now leave.
- If you believe the agent has done something illegal, you can contact a lawyer. Then try to file a complaint against this agent. For example, if you think he arrested you because of your race, see a lawyer and file a complaint.
Part 2 of 2: react before and during the check
Step 1. Know the times when you can get checked out
The police can stop an individual in his car if the police officer has seen him commit an offense or has good reason to stop him. When the officer has a valid reason to check you, based on facts and a situation, if that person has committed or is about to commit an offense, then he can arrest him.
- For example, if you drive erratically and violate the Highway Traffic Act, the police officer may give you a breathalyzer test. If he determines that you have been drinking, he can stop you. If the officer sees drugs in your car during the stop, they are likely to arrest you.
- Confirm with the agent that he is arresting you. Ask if you have the right to leave. If he answers "no", ask him the reason for your test. After that you have to stop talking.
Step 2. Know what the police are allowed to do and are not allowed to do when they are checking you
When you are stopped, the police officer can do the following (only in the event of flagrante delicto, preliminary investigation, with the express consent of the person or with a rogatory commission).
- He can search you and search your clothes.
- He can search your things.
- He can search your vehicle.
- They may ask you to take a test, such as a blood alcohol test.
- He can ask you questions. Know that you have the right to not answer them and to remain silent.
- If this happens to you, stay calm and cooperate with the agent as best you can.
Step 3. Understand your rights
During an arrest in France, your rights will not be read to you as in American films. However, you have more or less the same rights, the right to remain silent, because what you say could be used against you, as well as the right to a lawyer. The police are not allowed to threaten you or in any way force you to speak or confess. If this happens, speak to your lawyer immediately.
- If the police start asking you a lot of questions and you think you are under arrest (you will probably find out), you might want to stop talking. If you're going to get arrested, shut up. Anything you say while under arrest can be used against you.
- Also know that any citizen has the right to arrest you if they catch you in the act of a felony or misdemeanor. You have the same rights.
- If you feel that your rights have not been respected or that you have been the victim of an illegal search, contact your lawyer later to discuss it.
- If a police officer searches your car without permission (at least as far as you know) or there is no valid reason, do not resist the search.
- Remain respectful of the officer at all times, even when you refuse a search. Say something like: "I'm sorry Officer, but I don't agree with this search." You can firmly assert your rights, but respect will help you maintain a calm and controlled attitude. It also helps to defuse a dangerous situation if the officer's initial attitude is hostile.
- Don't try to escape. Sure, it might be fun to fancy yourself in a video game for a few hours while running away from the cops who have been chasing you, but know that it dramatically worsens the situation. They are going to catch you and you are going to have a terrible time after putting their lives and the lives of passersby in danger.
- Do not use swear words or inappropriate language. Also, never tell an agent that you know your rights. Instead, show her that you know your rights by calmly asserting them when under pressure.
- Do not carry open bottles of alcohol in your vehicle as this could add to your drinking and driving. Keep all your bottles tightly closed and preferably in the trunk. If you have an accident, the bottles could shatter and the police officer could believe the smell you drank.
- Do not carry illegal or dangerous items in or on your car. This could lead to a seizure of your vehicle and your arrest.