No one wants to think that they’re being watched. It’s invasive, unpleasant and usually unfair. In fact, you may find yourself wondering how to avoid cops while driving altogether. But even so, seemingly small decisions can make you a target for bored police officers looking for an easy ticket—or worse. Before you make any risky driving decisions, ensure that you aren’t making yourself an easy target for the police, especially if there is a warrant out for your arrest. Here’s how not to get pulled over by the police.

1. Loud Music

Minding your music is one of the easiest ways to avoid cops while driving. But we’re not here to judge—everyone likes to drive with their favorite music playing. That said, driving around residential areas or areas recognized for high drug activity with loud music blaring out your open windows is a surefire way to attract some unwanted legal attention. Driving down Westheimer with some Bun-B turned all the way up is one thing, this is Houston after all. Driving through River Oaks, on other hand? You’re practically begging to be pulled over for suspicious activity. Know your surroundings, be courteous and don’t let loud music get you in legal trouble.

2. Sketchy Bumper Stickers

Other methods of knowing how not to get pulled over by the police? Mind the contents of your bumper stickers. No one in traffic cares how many times you’ve seen Phish or that you think weed should be legal, but the police sure do. If you’re driving around near bars or in a drug-infested area, shady bumper stickers and decals are an easy way to tip-off an already suspicious cop on the prowl. Especially stickers related to drugs or alcohol, your odds of getting pulled over may skyrocket and you may need a Houston drug attorney faster than you can pull over. The same goes for 100 Club window decals! When you cram the back of an otherwise shady-looking car with 100 club stickers, you aren’t winning points with the cops—you just look that much more suspicious.

3. Filthy Vehicles

Knowing how to avoid cops while driving means giving up bragging rights on the filthiest car in the lot. Having a dirty car is one thing, but cars that are trash-infested, grimy, or otherwise disgusting can look very suspicious in the right situation. Cracked turn signals, taped together mirrors, broken windows can all send suspicious signals if you’re not careful. Things only get worse if you’re being pulled over—trash and filth inside the vehicle are a major tip off that you may be up to no good. Even if you can’t afford repairs or you drive an old car, keeping it mostly clean can work wonders.

4. Too Many People Crammed in the Car

Make the safe decision and take multiple cars when you have huge groups. An extra person in the backseat? Probably not a big deal. However, a car stuffed with people in the front and back is both illegal and a little bit sketchy. Unlike our other examples, police can legally pull you over for an overcrowded car alone. Depending on the crowd you’re with or the night you’ve had, having nine people crammed in a five-seat vehicle won’t look quite right.

5. Driving at Strange Hours

Driving down 610 at 2 a.m.? Not necessarily shady. Driving down Hillcroft at 2 a.m.? You might want to be mindful of your circumstances and surroundings. While you may not know when cops are out the most, your chances of getting pulled over go up significantly at night. When you’re alone on the road, a cop has much more time and room to evaluate your driving and your behavior. If you’re near bars or in an otherwise shady area past midnight, cops will be especially likely to look twice as you drive by. Driving late at night also makes it much easier for unmarked police cars to catch you without you ever seeing them. Avoid driving at crazy hours when you can help it, and stick to the main roads as much as possible.

Pulled Over and Arrested in Houston? Get Thiessen Law Firm On Your Side

Other than driving with an over-crowded car, none of the reasons we listed are actually legally acceptable reasons to be pulled over. If you feel that you’ve been unfairly pulled over and were subsequently arrested for drug possession or DWI in Houston, Thiessen Law Firm can help. Mark Thiessen, leading Houston trial attorney, and his team are trial-tested and battle-ready for nearly any criminal charge. Get your case off to the right start, contact us today for a free consultation.

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Thiessen Law Firm

Mark Thiessen is an aggressive trial lawyer best known for his devotion to justice for his clients and high rank as a DWI Super Lawyer in Texas.