Traffic Stop Tricks

In Criminal, Traffic by GWAO

At one time or another, almost every one of us has been pulled over.

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It’s almost always for a relatively minor reason – speeding, a faulty taillight, forgetting to put on a seat belt after pulling away from the gas station – but today there’s an increasing danger of a routine traffic stop leading to something more. Sometimes it happens because law enforcement officers have violated a person’s rights, but more often it happens because law enforcement officers are trained professionals with many tricks up their sleeve to discover information they otherwise wouldn’t have. The video below shows a man in Iowa shutting several of the tricks we’ll discuss in this post.

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Trick #1: Pretending to be your buddy

Many officers are genuinely nice human beings, but when they’re on duty being extra-friendly can serve a purpose – namely to lull you into a false sense of security. The media consistently paints officers are strict and unflinching so when you encounter one who seems to be laid back or understanding it’s easy to think you’re dealing with a “good cop”. Unfortunately, however kind or understanding the officer is off the job, when they’re in uniform and they’ve stopped your vehicle this is almost always an act used in hopes that an incriminating statement or grounds for a search will come out in your conversation.

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Trick #2: “You’re free to go, but…”

Officers know that once they no longer have a lawful cause to detain you, you are supposed to be free to go. They’ll often tell you this. And yet then they persist in asking more questions and prolonging the interaction. Once an officer tells you you’re free to go, make sure you seize the opportunity. Cut off the conversation with something simple, but polite like “Thank you officer, I really do have to get to [blank]” or if they really press you to keep talking “I’m sorry officer, but am I free to leave?”

Trick #3: Twisting logic

Even before your right to Miranda warnings has been triggered any statement you make can be used against you. In pursuit of a search or simply more information, officers may try to twist what you’ve told them or make logical leaps. These include profiling you for a hobby you’ve admitted to having or most often the old stand-by “If you didn’t have something to hide, you wouldn’t have a problem with me searching your car.” Remember to always focus on the fact that the person you’re talking to is a law enforcement officer and their job is to stop crime. When they’re talking with you or trying to justify a search that’s their only objective.

Have you gotten into trouble from a situation like this? Call the experienced criminal defense lawyers at Garrett, Walker and Aycoth today at (336) 379-0539!