So just what is a "felony traffic stop" anyway? Good question, and if you've ever watched an episode of Cops, you've most likely already seen one play out. Basically a felony or high risk traffic stop is executed when police (typically multiple units) stop a vehicle which they believe has a strong probability of containing a driver or passenger suspected of having committed a serious (read violent) crime, and that the suspects in question are most likely armed. Obviously not bueno.
|In a typical felony stop, guns are drawn, use your head|
First off, let's get one thing straight, the only person even more terrified than you, is the cop. He or she may be well trained, but they are also keenly aware of the dangers involved when confronting a potentially armed criminal (many officers killed in the line of duty die in felony traffic stop situations) and that's gonna have them at DEFCON 1. While it won't be easy, you need to stay calm. Really, be chill. Part of the drill is that the officer is going to be yelling at you in an aggressive manner, it's how they control the situation and keep the suspect off balance. It's normal, don't freak. More importantly, do EXACTLY what they tell you to do, and no more. Now's not the time witty retorts and smart ass comments.
This is where "comply" comes into play. Whatever you do, don't "anticipate" what the officer is gonna ask you to do. In other words, don't get off the motorcycle unless they tell you to. Don't speak unless in response to a specific command or question (if you have to, ask permission to speak). And whatever you do, don't make any sudden or threatening moves, what may seem innocent to you, may get a barrage of 9mm lead grouped in your direction. That means no reaching for your wallet, even though you think you're just being helpful, after all, you know John Law's gonna want to inspect your license at some point. Yeah, he's likely to ask for it, but wait until he does. Same thing goes for cell phones, keys or saddle bags. Always await instructions and only do what's commanded. Move slowly and deliberately. Think, "...I will obey your every command", keep repeating it in your noodle, it could very well save your sorry hide. And look at the bright side, face down in the dirt will nicely "age" that new leather vest. Talk about street cred.
|Felony stops always involve significant "backup"|
If you've followed the "Three C's", done exactly as you were told, chances are (assuming you truly are innocent, you are, right!?) you'll be on your way with nothing more than a great bar story and soiled undies. The key is to get safely beyond the "officers weapons drawn" portion of the show, there's no point in being "right" if it only gets you dead. There's plenty of time down the road to address such issues as unprofessional behavior on the part of the cops, physical violence, and damage to property, if any of that was part of your little pow-wow. That's what lawyers and courts are for, not the shoulder of the road. Got it? So let's be careful out there.