Of course, the number one way to prevent being arrested for DUI is to not drink and drive. When you’re planning to drink, appoint a designated driver or take an Uber home. However, if you find yourself in a situation where you’re being stopped by a police officer after you’ve been drinking and driving, remember that these 5 essential tips could save your case.
Don’t Be Your Own Worst Enemy. Many people don’t realize that there is a fine line between cooperating with the police and protecting yourself. If you are pulled over, saying less to the police will almost always help you in the long run. The police officer who pulls you over will likely assume that you’ve been drinking and will start asking you questions, hoping to get that assumption confirmed in your own words. For example, the officer might ask if you feel like you are “under the influence.” If you answer “Oh yes!” then the officer has your own words as evidence right there. Remember that you have the Constitutional Right to Remain Silent. Use it for your own benefit! Even if the officer doesn’t tell you your Miranda Rights until later (or at all), your Right to Remain Silent is effective immediately. You are required to give the officer your license, registration, and proof of insurance upon request, but you are not required to answer questions.
If you’ve been drinking, there will likely be some outward signs that point to impairment: bloodshot and watery eyes, flushed face, and/or slurred speech. But if you don’t admit to drinking, these symptoms can be argued away much more easily in court with the help of an attorney. Remember, the best thing you can do is to remain silent. The worst thing you can do is admit you’ve been drinking or are otherwise “intoxicated” or “under the influence” of drugs or medication.
- Be Polite. It may sound obvious, but it’s worth remembering – especially in the frustration, confusion, and anxiety that often comes with being pulled over. You are far less likely to be arrested if the officer believes you are sincerely respectful. HG.org warns that if you are rude, insincere, or hostile, the officer is much more likely to take offense, arrest you, and do everything possible to get you convicted, including writing a very incriminating police report. If the officer asks you to step out of the vehicle, comply or face the very real possibility of being charged with resisting arrest. Act helpful and friendly, and avoid acting sarcastic, or insincerely compliant.
- Utilize Your Right to Refuse Field Sobriety Tests. Did you know? You’re not required to do the field sobriety tests that a police officer might ask you to do, explains HG.org. In fact, criminal defense attorneys recommend that it’s in your best interest to refuse the tests. Few people – even if they are sober – complete the tests perfectly. Whatever you do imperfectly in the tests will just be more “evidence” that an officer can collect to use against you. You have the right to refuse the sobriety tests. Call your DUI attorney instead!
- Write Your Own Version of the Police Report. It’s also in your best interest to write your own version of the police report. It’s wise to do this as soon as possible so that you can recall the details of the situation more clearly. Telling the courts that you have your own version of the report will likely bring up cause to challenge the report written by the police. However, you might not want to show the police report to your criminal defense attorney. Because attorneys are bound to certain ethical codes, if your attorney finds a discrepancy in your police report and your story, your attorney might be required by law to inform the court of that discrepancy. Make sure to note in your report details about how the officer treated you, read you your rights, and so on.
- Utilize Your Right to an Experienced DUI Attorney. As explained by FindLaw, the Sixth Amendment protects your constitutional right to legal counsel when charged with crimes such as DUI. Don’t risk the consequences that come with not getting experienced legal assistance from an aggressive DUI defense attorney. Just a simple phone call could change your life.
Have you been arrested for DUI in Naples? It’s time to take the initiative to prevent your life from being turned upside down. Michael M. Raheb is dedicated to helping his clients avoid the life-altering negative consequences of a DUI conviction. Call 239-226-0888 or send a message online to set up your free consultation.
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