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      01-12-2013, 07:29 PM   #15
fdawg4l
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Drives: E90 335i 6MT
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: SF Bay, CA

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I'm not a lawyer. In fact, some would say cops love giving me tickets, too. That said, I found the situation can't be changed; they want something over you, and you want them to leave you alone. As bad as this is, whenever I'm pulled over, I try to treat them like someone else's hyper 2 year old- you can't be mean, you can't even get angry. You have to acknowledge what they're saying without necessarily agreeing with them, but show that you're listening. And, above all, you cannot tell them what to do. After all, they aren't your problem.

This is advice given to me by an NJ state trouper's daughter-
1 - show complete submission. Take your key, put it on the roof of your car, then place your hands on the steering wheel. Roll down all of the windows and wait. They know you aren't going anywhere and you're at their mercy.
2 - Be as polite as possible. Always refer to them as "officer", start with hello, and ask them if it is OK to reach into your glove to pull out your info (see 1 about submission).
3 - Never ever argue with them. Acknowledge what they say since you are in no position to change their mind. (See paragraph above about pretending to be nice to someone else's kid.)
4 - When asked a question, keep details brief and clear. "I made sure to stop, counted 2 seconds, then continued". When he/she disagrees, acknowledge the discrepency, then take ownership and apologize for the error. Admit you had no idea that was the case and it must've been a mistake.

I've dropped from 6 speeding tickets in a single year in my camry (in NJ) to 1 in all 3 years of having my 335 since I got those pieces of advice. I still get pulled over (now in CA), but in most instances, I get a warning, a showing of gratefulness for the key thing, and get to leave without issue.

The 1 time was in Santa Barbra, actually. He was at least nice about it, and it was for doing 95 in a 55. I was cited for doing 74 in a 55. All told, things could have been much worse.

Just my 2 cents.

Show up on your court date, plead your case to the prosecutor, take what they give you, and carry on. A stop sign isn't worth the lawyer's bill, but your insurance situation may be different than mine. I'm (finally) free and clear.

1 last thing- When I see a cup pull a U like a bat-out-of-the-south, I do everyone a favor and pull over immediately as long as it's safe to do so. You can say you thought he was after you and wanted to make life a bit easier or he wanted to go around you anyway. Both tend to get some points with the cop and it makes driving with po-po behind you a bit less terrifying while waiting for the other shoe to drop. In your case, I'd be curious to see what he could come up with since he only saw you briefly.

Good luck.