WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE PULLED OVER

Tips from Sheriff Leon Lott for a Safer Police Traffic Stop


 
  • Immediately pull over to the nearest right-hand edge or curb of the roadway.

  • Pull your car over as close as possible to the curb of the roadway and stay clear of any intersections. Put your vehicle in park and take your foot off the brake.

  • Stop and remain in such position until the authorized emergency vehicle has either passed or wait for the deputy to approach your car.

 

IF YOU ARE BEING PULLED OVER AND AN DEPUTY IS APPROACHING YOUR CAR

  • Stay in your vehicle and keep your hands visible and leave your seatbelt on.

  • If it is dark outside, turn on your interior vehicle light.

  • Roll down your window so you can pass documents to the deputy.

  • Follow the directions of the deputy.

  • South Carolina law requires drivers to show their license, registration and proof of insurance upon request.

  • Be honest with the deputy and ask for an explanation if something is unclear.

  • Be reminded that accepting the citation is not an admission of guilt - you will have the opportunity to contest the citation in court later.

WHY WAS I PULLED OVER?

Law enforcement officers may conduct a traffic stop any time they have a reasonable suspicion that an occupant of the car is committing or has committed a violation of the law. You should be respectful and follow the directions given if you are pulled over, even if you don’t agree with the reason for the stop; on the side of the road is not the place to dispute the stop. You will have an opportunity to tell your side of the story in court if you choose. Richland County deputies are expected to be professional and courteous, but firm when enforcing the law. If you are concerned by a deputy’s actions during the stop, you should report it to the Sheriff’s Department so that the Department and Citizen’s Advisory Council can review it.

REASONS FOR A STOP

Deputies may stop a motorist for these reasons:

  • Traffic violations

  • Probable cause of any criminal offense

  • Reasonable suspicion of criminal activity based on personal observations and information from other officers, the police radio or a witness

  • Outstanding warrants

  • Minor infractions such as darkly tinted windows, inoperative equipment or failing to signal

    before a turn

 

STOPPING A VEHICLE

 

A deputy may stop a vehicle, if the deputy reasonably suspects that the driver in the vehicle has committed, is committing or is about to commit a crime. The officer is not required to have probable cause to arrest the individual at the time of the traffic stop.

5623 Two Notch Road 
Columbia, South Carolina 29223 
(803) 576-3000 phone (803) 576-3195 fax
sheriff@rcsd.net

Copyright © 2016 Richland County Sheriff's Department