How to properly pull over

How to Properly Pull Over

How to properly pull over

When a person is driving, there are a lot of things that they don’t want to happen. One of the big ones is getting pulled over by the police. When this happens, it means that the driver has done something wrong and is probably going to get a ticket. That is something no driver wants.

When a person is pulled over by the police, there are certain things they should and shouldn’t do. If a driver makes a mistake and does the wrong thing, they could actually get into more trouble. In order to help a person avoid getting into any extra trouble for what was probably just a small traffic violation, here is what a person should do when getting pulled over.

What to Do When Pulled Over

When a driver looks in their rearview mirror and sees a law enforcement vehicle flashing its lights at them alongside blaring their siren, they need to pullover. Regardless of what lane a person is driving in, they need to pull over to the right shoulder of the road, or into the nearest parking lot if it is a viable option. This needs to be done quickly, but safely. It is also recommended that a driver activate their hazard signals to indicate to the officer that they are going to pullover.

Once the person has pulled over, they should turn off their car’s engine, roll down their window, and turn on their interior lights if it is night. They should also extinguish their cigarette or get rid of the gum they are chewing just to be polite. As frustrating as it can be to get pulled over, it is important to remember that the officer is just doing his/her job. Being polite and understanding could help a person avoid getting a ticket.

While a person may not have any intention to harm an officer, the officer approaching the vehicle doesn’t know that. In order to avoid putting the officer on edge, a person should refrain from trying to get their license and registration before the officer arrives. Instead, the person should keep their hands on the wheel until the officer gets to the window. Once the officer is there, a person should listen to every order and do as they are told.

Never get out of a vehicle unless instructed to do so by the officer.

If the officer has reason to believe their might be contraband in the car, they can search the vehicle. However, they can only do that with good reason.

When an officer asks if the driver knows why they were pulled over, it is typically because they are trying to get the person to admit their guilt. Once a person does that, they cannot fight the ticket. No matter how a person decides to answer that question, and any others, they should keep everything short and to the point. Again, they should also be very polite, or they could make the situation worse for themselves.

What If the Car Is Unmarked?

Sometimes, officers use unmarked vehicles when they are out on patrol. In a perfect world, this wouldn’t be much of a problem. Unfortunately, the world isn’t perfect. There are bad people out there that try to pretend to be police officers to take advantage of innocent drivers. Due to this fact, a person needs to be cautious when an unmarked vehicle is signaling for them to pullover.

If a person is concerned about the legitimacy of the vehicle, they should not stop right away. Instead, they should signal that they have seen the request by activating their hazards and slowing their speed. However, they should not stop until they can get to a public, well-lit area. Once stopped, keep the doors locked and only open the window a crack.

A good idea in these situations is to call 911 and talk to the dispatcher. Walk them through everything that is going on and where this is taking place. From there, the person can also ask that a marked vehicle be sent to them.

If the person in the unmarked vehicle is behaving in an odd, aggressive, or just generally unprofessional manner, ask to see their badge. If they refuse, the driver should tell them they are calling 911 and then do that, unless they’ve done it already. If the person runs, don’t follow them. Instead try to get their vehicle’s license plate number, and as much information about the car and person as possible. Then give that all of that information to the police.

Real police officers understand this fear and need for caution. They will not penalize someone for not pulling over right away to an unmarked vehicle, or for asking for a marked car to show up.

Stop and Listen to Avoid Trouble

If the person conducts themselves accordingly, they will probably still get a ticket. However, by being polite and courteous, a driver does increase their chances of getting off with a warning. If a person disregards all of this and instead decides to argue with the officer and be generally uncooperative, they increase their chances of getting into much worse trouble. That is something no driver wants. Often times it is best to just take the ticket.


California marijuana laws

What Are the Laws on Marijuana in California?

California marijuana laws

It seems like just yesterday that the usage of marijuana was illegal here in California. However, Californians voted to make marijuana usage legal in the state back in 2016, and the recreational use of marijuana became legal January 1st, 2018. This change allowed a whole lot of people to use marijuana without having to worry about getting into trouble with the law or needing it for medical reasons.

While this legal change has been in effect for 2 years now, there is still the occasional bit of confusion for some people on what is and isn’t legal. For instance, some people don’t know how much marijuana they are allowed to grow, or how much they can have on their person at one time.

The State’s Marijuana Possession Law

California has several different laws that describe what is and isn’t legal in regards to marijuana. For instance, when it comes to possession of marijuana, Health and Safety Code (HS) 11357 states how much a person can carry on them. Under this law, people over the age of 21 are allowed to hold 28.5 grams or less of marijuana. That’s just a little more than an ounce. Under this law, a person is also allowed to carry up to 8 grams of concentrated cannabis.

A person breaks this law when they:

  • Are under 21.
  • Possess more than 28.5 grams
  • Possess marijuana on the grounds of a K-12.

The penalties for breaking this law vary depending on how exactly it was broken. The charges for this crime can range from an infraction to a misdemeanor. They can have fines anywhere from $100 to $500, up to 6 months in jail, and require drug counseling.

Laws about Growing Marijuana

HS 11358 dictates who can grow marijuana and how much of it they can grow. Anyone over the age of 21 can grow up to 6 plants of marijuana. It typically has to be grown indoors, unless the city has a local ordinance that permits outdoor growth. Wherever marijuana is grown, it has to be in a secure location inaccessible to minors.

If a minor grows any marijuana, they are guilty of an infraction and will face:

  • $100 fine.
  • A drug counseling course.

If an adult grows more than 6 plants, they will be guilty of a misdemeanor and face:

  • Up to 6 months in jail.
  • A max fine of $500.

In some instances a person can face felony charges for goring more than 6 plants if they:

  • Have been convicted of serious violent felonies.
  • Are a registered sex offender.
  • Have 2 or more convictions of growing 6 or more plants.
  • Violated certain environmental laws while growing their plants.

Marijuana Selling Laws

HS 11359 outlines who is allowed to sell marijuana. Only people who have acquired a license to sell marijuana from the state are allowed to sell the drug. Anyone else who is caught selling marijuana without a license will usually face a misdemeanor that comes with:

  • Up to 6 months in jail.
  • A max fine of $500.

However, in some instances, a person can face felony charges if:

  • They have been convicted of certain serious violent felonies.
  • They have 2 or more previous convictions of marijuana possession with intent to sell.
  • They tried to sell marijuana to a minor under the age of 18.
  • As a felony, a person can face time in county jail ranging from 16 months to 3 years.

Marijuana and Driving Laws

Driving while in possession of marijuana is made illegal under Vehicle Code (VC) 23222. This is the same law that prohibits people from driving while possessing an open container of alcohol. Basically, this law makes it illegal for anyone to drive a vehicle while in possession of opened marijuana containers.

Driving under the influence of marijuana is just as illegal as driving under the influence of alcohol. This is why the crime is referred to as driving under the influence (DUI), not driving while intoxicated (DWI). DUI is more inclusive of driving under the influence of any drugs or alcohol. If a person drives while high, they will face the same consequences they would if they were driving drunk.

These Laws Differ from Federal Laws

While marijuana usage is legal here in California, it is still illegal at the federal level. This means that even if a person is following the state laws for possessing and selling of marijuana, they could still be arrested and punished at the federal level. Despite that fact, for the most part, federal law enforcement isn’t that interested in the individual use of marijuana.

Still, there are instances where federal law enforcement will care about individual marijuana use. This will primarily occur when a person is on federal property such as:

  • Federal buildings.
  • Federal courthouses.
  • National parks.
  • Post offices.
  • Public airports.

If a person is caught possessing marijuana, they face the following under federal law:

  • A max fine of $1,000.
  • Up to 1 year in federal prison.

Growing, possessing with intent to sell, and sale of less than 50 pounds or 50 plants, is punishable with:

  • A max fine of $250,000.
  • Up to 5 years in federal prison.

Staying Out of Trouble Isn’t Too Hard

This is just a sample of some of the more common laws surrounding marijuana usage and cultivation here in California. Even though the laws went into effect 2 years ago, they are still new enough to cause some confusion.

As long as a person follows the above laws, they shouldn’t run into too much trouble with the law, at the state level anyways. When it comes to dealing with federal law, a person is better off leaving the marijuana at home. If they don’t do that, they could face some very harsh consequences.

What do you think of California’s many marijuana laws? Do they do a good job at keeping people safe, or are they too complicated? What about the federal laws regarding marijuana? Is it fair for people to get into trouble at the federal level even though they are following state laws? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.