How to Deal With Being Stopped by Police

You're late for that meeting. Is it okay to speed up a little? Let's see... nope. Now you're on the side of the highway, waiting for the cop to come down on you with questions about your license and registration. What should you do? How does someone deal with this?


  1. Image titled Deal With Being Stopped by Police Step 01
    Pull over immediately. Set your hazard lights on, turn off the radio, and then cut the engine. Roll down the window, and make sure both your hands and your passengers hands are visible.
  2. Image titled Deal With Being Stopped by Police Step 02
    Be sure to address the cop as "officer." This shows respect.
  3. Image titled Deal With Being Stopped by Police Step 03
    Always tell the truth. Never claim you didn't do it (if you did), but remember that you have the right to remain silent.
  4. Image titled Deal With Being Stopped by Police Step 04
    Don't argue with the officer. Giving any reason for the officer to take interest in your case may actually encourage him to appear in court in offense (many defendants succeed in court because the witness officer is not present).
  5. Image titled Deal With Being Stopped by Police Step 05
    Don't admit anything. Often police ask if you know why you were stopped. Contrary to popular opinion, a really great reason for the violation does not help. Anything you say can be used against you as an admittance of guilt.
  6. Image titled Deal With Being Stopped by Police Step 06
    Contact a lawyer. If you fail any test and are charged, just remain silent and call a lawyer.


  • Keep your license and registration where you will know to find it. In the glove compartment or under the seat, as long as it doesn't take too long to retrieve it.
  • Be willing to cooperate. If you prove stubborn, the officer may find a reason to arrest you on the spot.
  • A policeman is only doing their job. If you're cooperative they're more then likely cut you a break.
  • Be Forgettable. If you make a scene, the officer will likely document the incident in more detail that he would have otherwise. If you are planning on fighting the citation, you want the officer to remember as little about the stop as possible.


  • Running away or attacking the police officer never helps. It will always make your load heavier, in legalized ways.
  • If you drove a foreign vehicle that belongs to someone else and it is illegal in that country, you and any passenger (if he or she is in the vehicle) are both done for.
  • Don't laugh at a Police officer or stick a camera in his/her face. You'll find yourself having to give your details or be arrested. You may also get a court appearance.
  • In Singapore it is illegal to say to a cop " I'm running late" or "I need to use the bathroom". If you do say these things you can be shot or arrested as the cop will think you are trying to hide a suspect.
  • Running away, driving away or refusing to be arrested is called resisting arrest, never resist. Cops will still get you. You can either be injured or killed by them if you resist.

Sources and Citations

  • The Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook, by Joshua Piven and David Borgenicht

Article Info

Categories: Fines and Road Offenses | Dealing with Police Officers