While traffic stops are routine in Missouri, no one wants to have to go through with one. Normally, a traffic stop ends with a ticket and most do not want to have pay the fees involved with traffic violations. In addition, it can be extremely daunting to speak to a cop. If you are not used to handling police, then you may find it difficult when you are in a traffic stop. Unfortunately, nervous people tend to handle traffic stops poorly. You need to stay calm and understand your rights.
The Missouri ACLU offers the first tip to stop the car in the safest place possible. You do not want to have to worry about other drivers. You should turn off your car and open the window partially. Next, put your hands on the steering wheel calmly. You will have to show your driver’s license, proof of insurance and registration.
What if the officer asks to look inside your car? You can refuse consent to a search. The only time an officer can search your car is if he or she has reason to believe that you have evidence in the car. You do not have to offer any information from the beginning. You can keep the conversation brief and only offer information when he or she asks. To know what happens can ease a lot of the anxiety if or when it does occur. Most have to deal with traffic stops and as long as you can stay calm, it will not last long.
None of the above is intended to be legal advice. It is for educational purposes only.