- When the officer asks if you know why you were pulled over, feign ignorance. Admitting your blunder only gives him confirmation that he should write you a ticket.
- Avoid the classic traffic excuses. Stay away from old standbys like "I'm late for work," "I was following the flow of traffic," or "I have to go to the bathroom." He's heard them - and ignored them - a thousand times before.
- Create a human connection with the officer. "You only have a small window of time to turn on the schmooze - and that's from the moment the officer approaches your car to the time he returns to his vehicle with your license and registration," says Wallace. Use that interval wisely: "Look the officer in the eye and give an explanation that evokes empathy." Try "My child is at day care, and I have to pay $50 if I'm five minutes late" or "There was a man who was tailgating me and he made me so rattled." Or try tugging at his heartstrings. Say, "I was visiting an ill parent" or "I just got fired" and that you were distracted.
- As a last-ditch effort, try to talk him down to giving you a warning. When things don't appear to be going your way, it can't hurt to ask.
Get more advice on HOW TO ASK FOR WHAT YOU WANT -- AND GET IT! here.
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Reprinted with Permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.