There are few things that elicit the emotions associated with getting pulled over by a cop. Most of us were raised with a certain amount of respect for police officers. There was a time when we thought of every cop as Officer Friendly, but unfortunately, those days are long behind us. Even if we don’t think that we have done anything wrong, a fear response is immediate if we see blue lights flashing behind us. It is hard to say exactly when or why things have changed, but these days, police officers seem to always expect the worst from drivers and have much less tolerance for the occasional driving indiscretion.
I think part of any driver’s initial fear is because they really don’t know what to do. The most innocuous action, such as taking off a seatbelt to reach over for your license and registration, can result in an additional ticket for driving without a seatbelt. This action can also lead the police officer to become edgy, as he doesn’t know if you are reaching for your registration or a handgun. The perils that they often face can create tension in the cop and that is often conveyed to an already-tense driver.
By and large, those who commit traffic offenses don’t do so intentionally, nor are they usually some big-time drug lord. Unfortunately, the few drivers that get pulled over who are career criminals cost the rest of us only a lot of peace of mind. The one important thing to remember when you are pulled over is to not lose control of your emotions. With the strain under which many cops operate today, it is never in your best interest to not be in control of your emotions.
Regardless of the reason for being pulled over, chances are it is not a felony. However, unless you have had a lot of experience in dealing with police officers, I am sure you will be nervous. This is because generally people are often intimidated by authority figures, and no one likes to feel as though they are “in trouble”. Just keep in mind that you are NOT a criminal and the likelihood of being hauled off to jail are slim. Now is not the time to be conciliatory or combative.
The emotions that you may feel at being pulled over can cover a broad spectrum. Where to pull over or how to pull over without obstructing traffic or making the officer think you are not going to stop can make you fearful of greater reprisals. It’s funny though how quickly your fear subsides when you are handed that traffic ticket. At that point, it is not unusual to experience anger or distress, thinking along the line of either, “What a jerk!” or “How am I going to pay this fine?”
Although it is not uncommon to feel these emotions, they can end up costing you greatly. This is one authority figure that has the power to impact your wallet. As difficult as it may be to not let your emotions get the best of you, doing so will only make the traffic stop more memorable for the police officer. As I have mentioned before in this blog, this just makes my job as a traffic ticket attorney more difficult. In spite of the constitution, it seems that drivers who are cited are considered guilty until proven innocent. This is unfortunate, but no matter what your emotional state at the time of getting a ticket, keep your emotions in check and then call the Traffic Ticket Team at (954) 967-9888.