How to Handle Michigan Cops During a Traffic Stop
Michigan law enforcement agencies are preparing to beef up patrols across the state for their annual “Click It or Ticket” campaign. You know the routine: police officers will be looking to stop motorists not wearing seatbelts and issue citations. But this routine traffic stop has the potential to cause you more trouble than just a pesky fine.
Although, this yearly cop crusade is cleverly marketed as a Memorial Day weekend safety measure to keep the streets safe for the average citizen, what police are actually looking for is any reason to pull a motorist over in order to establish reasonable suspicion/probable cause to investigate them for intoxicated driving and illegal drugs.
Because of this, it is important to understand your rights and understand how to deal with police officers if they pull you over.
1. You are not obligated to answer any of the cop’s questions: If a police officer pulls you over for not wearing a seatbelt: be polite and show him your driver’s license and registration. However, if he starts giving you the third degree, simply ask him if you are free to go. Police cannot legally hold you without a legitimate reason.
Remember, cops are people too, so being polite goes a long way. No matter how much an arrogant cop attempts to shake you down, just maintain your cool and remember that you do not have to answer any of his questions - not one. After each of his questions, simply ask, "Sir, am I being detained?" and "Am I free to go?"
2. Do not consent to searches: Never give police officers consent to search your vehicle. If a cop asks to search your car for any reason simply reply, “I’m sorry, sir, but I do not consent to searches.”
For more information on how to deal with shady law enforcement click here.