3 Steps to Follow Every Time You’re Pulled Over
1. YES, you have to show your license.
This is where you don’t want to listen to the advice of some guy blogging about modern policing while wearing a tin foil hat in a dark corner of his parents’ basement.
Despite what you may have read on some inaccurate blogs, you have to produce a valid driver’s license, proof of insurance, and registration.
If you want to read the law for yourself:
(625 ILCS 5/6-112) (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 6-112)
Sec. 6-112. License and Permits to be carried and exhibited on demand. Every licensee or permittee shall have his drivers license or permit in his immediate possession at all times when operating a motor vehicle and, for the purpose of indicating compliance with this requirement, shall display such license or permit if it is in his possession upon demand made, when in uniform or displaying a badge or other sign of authority, by a member of the State Police, a sheriff or other police officer or designated agent of the Secretary of State. However, no person charged with violating this Section shall be convicted if he produces in court satisfactory evidence that a drivers license was theretofor issued to him and was valid at the time of his arrest. For the purposes of this Section, “display” means the manual surrender of his license certificate into the hands of the demanding officer for his inspection thereof.
(Source: P.A. 76-1749.).
By driving on the 146,000 miles of roadway in Illinois, you are agreeing to abide by the rules of the road.
2. UNDERSTAND THE CONSTANT STRESS OF A POLICE OFFICER
It’s been said before but is important enough to repeat. Law Enforcement Officers are human beings under a tremendous amount of situational stress as well as outside scrutiny of late.
Pardon the minor inconvenience in your day, and make the stop as painless as possible for all parties involved. Manners and courtesy towards the officer are available to you free of charge.
When you see the lights, signal and pull over to the right shoulder as quickly and safely as possible. Pull over far enough that the officer doesn’t have to stand in the path of traffic. Turn the car off. Stay in the car unless instructed otherwise. Put out your cigarette and spit out your gum. You should have readily accessible your valid driver’s license, registration and proof of insurance, the officer will ask to see these (see above). Keep your hands on the steering wheel and the other three items on the dash in front of you.
3. DON’T AGREE TO WAIVE YOUR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS
If you have nothing to hide, leave the encounter with either a warning or a ticket. BUT you do NOT have to waive any of your constitutional rights.
Keep your mouth shut. The officer is looking for information on where you were, where you are going and making note of your speech. They are not making friendly conversation. Absent an exception to the general rule, you do not have to waive your right to privacy. You may politely decline their requests to search your auto, your person or your residence. No need to be hostile and also no need to offer up any additional information.
NOTHING CAN SAVE YOU IF YOU’RE BEING AN IDIOT
If you’re blasting Pantera at an ear-splitting decibel, openly smoking weed, driving dangerously or with bogus plates, none of these things are going to help you. It doesn’t matter how polite you are if your car reeks of a freshly fired joint or you nearly clipped a school bus.
The best way to avoid trouble is to avoid giving the police a reason to pull you over.