What not to say to the police at a traffic stop

On Behalf of | Mar 11, 2021 | Criminal Defense

When the police pull you over, it may seem like nothing you can do to keep yourself from getting a ticket. The cost of a traffic violation can be several hundred dollars, but your actions during the stop may improve your situation. When words can carry a lot of consequences at a traffic stop, here are some things you should avoid saying to the police:

“My taxes pay your paychecks”

When the police are doing their job, this kind of statement can imply that they should listen to you instead of the law. Regardless of your intentions, saying something like this can make the officers more hostile toward you.

“Don’t you have anything better to do?”

Accusing an officer of wasting their time can be very insulting to them. Every task that a police officer takes on the job is meant to better their community; saying otherwise may inspire an officer to make the traffic stop harder for you.

“Why don’t you go find a real criminal?”

Laws are in place to protect the community. Working headlights are necessary at night to protect yourself and other cars around you. Saying something like this can imply that the officer’s work is not a valuable contribution to the community.

Poor excuses

Saying something like “I am running late” or “this is a really bad day for me” likely will not convince an officer to let you go. It may also backfire and result in the officer making your day harder with a traffic violation or vehicle search.

Fake crying

Crying may convince someone to help you out, but police officers can spot crocodile tears from a mile away. When an officer knows you are fake-crying, they may rush the traffic stop and give you a ticket instead of leaving you with a warning.

Do not fight things at the traffic stop

If you believe that the police are making a mistake at your traffic stop or disagree with their decision, do not try and argue with the police officer. Contact a criminal defense attorney to help you fight the ticket at the appropriate time and place.


FindLaw Network