Arizona Guide on What to Do When Pulled Over by Law Enforcement

A Guide on What to Do When Pulled Over by Law Enforcement in Arizona


  • Do remain polite—but assert your rights and stand strong on them. 

  • While it is not against the law to be rude or disrespectful to law enforcement officers, being unnecessarily confrontational usually doesn’t end well and could land you in more trouble. Treating folks with decency and respect just makes for a better experience no matter who you’re dealing with. This is generally true with law enforcement as well. When stopped by law enforcement, it is best to remain calm and polite—even when asserting your rights. 

  • Do identify yourself if you’re the driver of the vehicle.

  • If you’re the driver of the stopped vehicle, you are required by Arizona law to provide your driver’s license and the general information that is on the license. 

  • Do invoke your right to remain silent—even before an officer reads you Miranda.


  • A common tactic police will use is to ask people questions before they are required to read Miranda and then use your answers against you later. This is why you should always invoke your right to remain silent right away and respectfully state that you will not answer any questions until you first speak to your attorney. 

  • Do immediately request a private phone call with an attorney. 

  • You have the right to an attorney at all stages of an investigation. You have the right to a private phone call with your attorney. However, these rights do not invoke themselves. You MUST request both (1) a phone call with an attorney AND (2) for the phone call to be private for the constitutional protections to matter. Also, the request must be unequivocal. It cannot be “do you think I should have a lawyer for this?” It must be “Please allow me to speak to my attorney and do so in private as soon as feasible.” Be clear and direct about your request.


Officers will often give you your cell phone to call an attorney after you request one. This is why it’s important to have an attorney saved in your phone for emergencies. Save Arizona Criminal Defense Attorney Steven Scharboneau in your phone at (480) 363-0090 in case you need to get to it quickly. 

Do Not: 

  • Do NOT answer any questions beyond identifying yourself.

    • The law requires that you identify yourself when operating a vehicle or if there is probable cause that a traffic violation occurred. However, any questions about “how fast you were going” or “if you had anything to drink tonight” you should not answer. Instead, you should politely inform the officer that you do not wish to answer any questions until you have the chance to speak with your attorney. 


  • Do NOT consent to any searches of your vehicle or your person.

    • Police officers cannot search your vehicle without a warrant, unless an exception to the warrant requirement is applicable. There are a lot of exceptions to the warrant requirement, and some of them can be difficult to understand. If police ask to search your vehicle, you should respectfully decline and inform them that you need to consult with your attorney before consenting to any searches. If they insist on searching you or your vehicle, do not resist or fight, but continue to verbally decline consent. If the officers make a legal error, it can be litigated at a later time and may result in the suppression of evidence. 


  • Do NOT submit to any field sobriety tests.

    • If an officer asks you to do field sobriety tests, you should consult with an attorney before deciding to do them. If you can’t consult with an attorney before deciding to do the tests or not, do not do them. Almost everyone fails these tests, and they are rarely administered properly by law enforcement. If you do these tests, they will be used against you in court. 

  • Do NOT blow into a handheld breathalyzer on the scene.

  • The breathalyzer on the scene is a handheld instrument that is so inaccurate, the reading isn’t even admissible during a trial. You are not required to blow into this instrument, and you shouldn’t. If asked to blow into a handheld device, politely decline and request to speak to your lawyer. **IMPORTANT** the handheld breathalyzer is different than the breath or blood test that is traditionally done at the police station or in a DUI. There can be serious consequences to refusing this test and you should speak to an attorney before deciding how to proceed with that test. 


*Disclaimer: Nothing provided in this guide is to be construed as legal advice. This guide does not create a legal relationship between you and Steven George Law. This guide is provided only for educational purposes. Before making any decisions on how to proceed during any criminal investigation, it is imperative to speak to a licensed attorney. 

Call or Text Steven Scharboneau 24/7 @ (480) 363-0090