If You Are Stopped by the Missoula Police

If You Are Stopped by the Missoula Police Department

  • As soon as you notice the emergency lights, pull your vehicle over safely to the right, and stop
  • Although you might not know the reason, you should pull over as soon as it is safe to do so; there may be a problem with your vehicle of which you are unaware
  • Remain in your vehicle while the officer approaches.Do not attempt to get out of your vehicle or approach the officer
  • Exiting your vehicle does not assist the officer and may be perceived as a threat
  • Turn on your interior light if stopped at night.A lit vehicle will reduce the officer's concern regarding weapons or other possible threats within your reach
  • Keep your hands easily observable, preferably on the steering wheel where the approaching officer can see them
  • Reaching under your seat or into your glove box are actions that will cause the officer concern that you may be reaching for a weapon
  • Give your license, registration, and proof of insurance to the officer when asked
  • Answer all questions honestly, be respectful
  • Touching or threatening a police officer or acting in a disorderly manner could result in your arrest and charges being filed against you
  • If the officer asks you to step out of your vehicle, do so without any sudden or threatening movements
  • Give the officer approximately 3 to 5 feet of personal space as a safety zone to do his or her job
  • Do not become argumentative, disorderly, or abusive.If your believe that you have been unfairly treated, do not make that argument on the side of the street.Your best alternative is to carry your protest to Municipal Court, or politely ask to speak to the officer's supervisor.
  • In some cases, the officer may ask you for your consent to search your vehicle.You have the right to refuse a consent search