Boards and Commissions

IPOB What To Do When Stopped Or Detained By Police

If you are stopped or detained by police it is generally because you are in the area where a crime just occurred, witness to a crime, fit the description of a suspect, have been pointed out as a suspect, appear to need assistance, or have violated a law. If you are stopped or detained, you should do the following:

  • Follow the officer’s instructions.
  • Keep your hands clearly visible.
  • Avoid making any sudden or reaching movements.
  • Provide your operator’s license or identification card upon request.
  • If a weapon is present, verbally inform the officer of its exact location. Do not make any gestures toward the weapon. State whether you possess a concealed handgun permit. Wait for specific instructions before making any movements.
  • If you observe or witness a police investigation, you have a right to photograph and record it.
  • If you are recording an officer, the officer may require you to stand at a distance away from the event to safely allow the officer to continue to do his/her job.
  • If an officer believes a recording of the scene may contain evidence, law or policy may compel the officer to detain the citizen pending a determination of the recording’s value as evidence.
  • It is a violation of law, Interference with Public Duties, Texas Penal Code §38.15, to negligently disrupt, interrupt, or otherwise interfere with a peace officer performing his/her duties.
  • NEVER attempt to flee or evade a police officer under any circumstances.

What to Do When Stopped for a Traffic Violation

  • When an officer signals you to pull over, the following should be done:
  • Pull your vehicle as far to the right as possible.
  • Remain seated in the vehicle; do not get out unless instructed to do so.
  • Keep your hands visible to the officer.
  • Follow the officer’s instructions.
  • Turn on the interior light when it’s dark outside.
  • Do not reach for anything unless directed to do so by the officer.
  • Produce your driver license and proof of financial responsibility (insurance) upon request.
  • If a citation is issued, you will be requested to sign the bottom of the citation. THIS IS NOT AN ADMISSION OF GUILT.
  • Along with the citation there will be a packet of information that will instruct you on procedures to resolve this matter.
  • NEVER attempt to flee or evade a police officer under any circumstances.