FAQs About Traffic Stops

Why might I be stopped by the police?
The officer may have reason to suspect that you are in violation of a traffic or criminal law.  It may be that a crime was committed nearby or the officer believes you might be able to assist in the investigation.

What should I do if I am stopped on the street?
We recommend that you do not run from the officer. Be calm. Listen to what the officer wants. Do not assume that you know the reason you were stopped. Provide identification when you are asked. Be as cooperative as possible. When asked questions, answer truthfully. Being untruthful will only make matters worse and you may end up causing further problems for yourself. You have the right to ask questions of the officer. But this should be done in a clam manner. Yelling and threatening an officer will only make a situation more difficult

What should I do if I am stopped in my car?
If you are driving a car and an officer signals for you to stop, the law requires you to pull over.  We recommend that you stay in your car and if it is dark, turn on the interior light. Please do not exit your car unless the officer requests or directs you to do so. It is suggested that you keep your hands on the steering wheel and wait for the officer to approach your vehicle. The officer will request your license, registration and proof of insurance. Police officers are trained to ask for identification and to provide an explanation for the stop. Please provide the officer with the requested documents. An Auburn Hills Police Officer will always inform you of the reason for the stop. Traffic violations are the most common reason for police stopping a vehicle.

Examples of traffic violations: speeding, disregarding a traffic control device, improper or expired license plate or equipment violations.

A criminal investigation may be another reason for being stopped. Your vehicle may match the description of a vehicle that has been involved in a crime.

At some point during the stop, the officer may ask you and/or passengers to exit the car. This request may be for safety or investigatory reasons. The courts have upheld an officer's right to make such a request. Please comply with this request. Police officer actions during a traffic stop are guided by the fact that many police officers are assaulted and killed each year during traffic stops. Our goal is to protect you and to ensure officer safety. If you are issued a citation and you disagree, please do not argue at the scene. You have the right to contest a citation before a judge or magistrate at a later time.

Why does the officer ask for identification?

The officer is trained to ask for identification. You know you are dealing with a police officer. The officer merely wishes to know with whom he /she are dealing.

When a car is stopped at night, the officers shine their lights into the car. Why is that?
Officers are trained to minimize their exposure to potential danger from within the stopped vehicle. At night, the bright light illuminates the interior of the vehicle; a safety consideration for the officer.

If I've only been pulled over for a traffic offense, why do other police cars show up?
It is not uncommon for officers who are in close proximity to assist one another, even if they are not requested. This is a routine response for safety reasons.

Why does the officer sit in the car for so long? What are they doing?
Technology allows an officer to determine your driving status and check your registration directly from the patrol car. However, there are times when the responses are delayed through no fault of the officer.

What should I do if I'd like to speak with someone regarding the officer's actions?
If you would like to compliment or complain about an officer's actions, please refer to the ‘Employee Commend or Complaint’ page by clicking this link or call and request a supervisor at 248-370-9460

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