There are many reasons you may be pulled over for driving under the influence. It often happens unexpectedly and the person charged with a DUI is rarely equipped to deal with the multitude of legal issues that follow. Even a drink or two may result in you being arrested. A DUI can happen to anyone at any time. Whatever your situation, there are legal remedies for a DUI charge.
If you have been arrested for DUI, you need a knowledgeable DUI attorney willing to work twice as hard to get you the best possible result.
When pulled over on suspicion of DUI, there are a few key things to remember to make the process go as smoothly as possible.
Cooperate: No matter what, always be polite and cooperative with the officer that pulls you over.
The officer is required by the Fourth Amendment to pull you over only if your driving behavior has given him/her reasonable cause to do so. However, law enforcement has been known to unlawfully stop drivers on the chance that they have been drinking.
Nevertheless, if you are respectful, the officer will be more likely to treat you with respect.
Remain Silent: You have a constitutional right to remain silent; therefore you are not required by law to answer any questions aside from identifying yourself. In fact, you should avoid answering any questions other than your name. Cooperating with an officer does not mean answering questions that could incriminate you.
Predictably, the officer will begin to ask you questions. Be polite (and try not to be nervous). Remember, it is your right not to answer any questions put forth by the officer. You can only be charged with driving under the influence if there is reasonable suspicion that you are intoxicated. Any sudden movements or awkward handling of your license and registration will be clues to the officer, justifiable or not, that something more is going on. Always place your license, registration, and proof of insurance at hands reach and have them ready to display before the officer knocks on your window.
Refuse Field Tests: You are not required to perform roadside portable breathalyzer tests. NO MATTER WHAT THE OFFICER TELLS YOU, politely refuse to take any field sobriety tests or the “breath test” while at your car. If you are asked to take the field tests, more likely than not, the officer has already made a determination on your guilt. The results can only hurt you.
Hire an Attorney: If you are arrested, you both need and deserve an experienced DUI defense attorney who will fight for your rights. The single most important thing you can do for yourself is to find a qualified attorney who knows DUI law.
Don’t offer information to the police, no matter what tactics they use.
Don’t consent to a search of your person or your vehicle. They may perform a search anyway, but it is your right to refuse.
Don’t get into an argument with the police, no matter how hard they may try to bait you into losing your temper.
Don’t initiate physical contact with the police, even if you mean them no harm.
Don’t give them any reason to find you threatening. Do not give them the impression that you are hard to deal with or irritating.
Don’t place your hands where the police cannot see them.
Don’t run away from a police officer if you see one (or more) approaching you. Running away may give the police reason to suspect that you are hiding something from them, even if you are totally innocent.
Don’t interfere with or obstruct the police. If you do, you can face additional charges.
Don’t resist arrest. Even if you think you are innocent, the time to protest comes later. If you resist arrest, you may face additional charges.
Don’t allow the police to listen in on any telephone call that you make to your DUI lawyer once you have been arrested. While the police may listen in on conversations to other individuals, they cannot listen to a conversation with your lawyer as it is protected by the attorney-client privilege.
Don’t speak to the police about anything before your DUI attorney arrives and talks to you first.
Don’t provide the police with any information other than your name and address, unless your DUI attorney is present and approves.
Don’t say anything, no matter what it is, without a DUI attorney present.
Don’t say anything if your DUI lawyer instructs you to remain silent. Let your DUI attorney do the talking for you, no matter how much you may wish to speak.
Don’t lie to the police if you choose to talk to them.
The most critical first step after getting arrested or receiving your citation is to hire a knowledgeable and experienced DUI attorney.
If arrested, invoke your right to remain silent and refuse to answer any questions. Anything you say can and probably will be used against you during the stop or later by the prosecution. Remain silent and remember that it is in your best interest to call an attorney immediately. David Speikers has more than 25 years of experience representing clients facing DUI charges. You will be able to reach David directly and can expect to be treated with respect and receive the sound advice that you will need.
Learn more about David Speikers, or call 425-222-0555 for a free consultation and case review.