- If the police have stopped you, they think they have a reason to do so.
- It is best to be cool and calm and identify yourself.
- If an unmarked car signals you to pull over at night and you are not sure the person is a Police Officer, put your 4-way flashers and dome light on and slowly drive to the nearest well lit public area. Unmarked police cars used for traffic stops are equipped with red and blue lights.
- Don't threaten or touch the officer(s), keep your hands and your feet to yourself, doing otherwise will probably get you arrested. Don't make the situation worse than it already is.
- Under Pennsylvania law, you may not use force to resist a legal or illegal arrest. Remember you have the right to contest the validity of your arrest later on in court.
- If you are given a ticket, you have a right to a hearing in front of the District Justice, if you do not agree with the District Justice's decision you have a right to appeal.
- If you are arrested you have the right to a preliminary hearing, in which the police must show why you were arrested.
If you feel you were legitimately treated unfairly by a Municipal Police Officer(s) you have the right to file a complaint with the Chief of Police or Superintendent of Police. If you are dissatisfied with the Chief's or Superintendent's response, you can file a complaint with the Elected Officials who oversee the Police Department such as the Mayor, Police Commissioner or Township Manager.
If you are dissatisfied with that response, you have the right to file a complaint with the Allegheny County District Attorney's Office, Investigative Affairs Committee and if you choose you can pursue a civil action.
Important Phone Numbers
- Allegheny County District Attorney's Office 412-350-4400
- Allegheny County Public Defender's Office 412-350-2401
- Federal Bureau of Investigations 412-432-4000
- Local Police Department Blue Pages of Phone Book
- Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission 412-565-5395
- U.S. Attorney's Office 412-644-3500