Knowing Your Rights: What to Do If You Get Pulled Over for a DUI
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Too many Americans aren’t aware of their rights when they find themselves getting pulled over by the police. Even if the police have a good reason to pull you over, you still have certain rights and protections granted to you by the law. If the police pull you over because they suspect a DUI or DWI, you need to know how to handle it.
Regardless of whether you’re guilty, make sure that you know how to protect yourself until you’re able to get legal representation. Keep reading to learn more.
Follow Your Standard Pull-Over Procedures
Any time you get pulled over, you know what you’re supposed to do. Find a safe place to pull to the side of the road. If you’re not in a safe place, find some way to signal to the cop that you’re trying to find one. You can use your blinker for this.
Once you’ve stopped your car, get your license and registration out. The officer will likely as for it.
Don’t Get Chummy
Many police offers will try to make you feel at ease. While this isn’t always malicious, keep in mind that the officer is looking for reasons to arrest you or give you a ticket. You’re better off not saying anything at all.
You don’t have to answer a police officer’s questions, even if they try to push it or tell you that cooperation makes things easier. Even at a DUI checkpoint, you can technically stare straight ahead without saying anything.
If the officer has further reason to suspect you, they may still arrest you or ask you to step out of the car. You can tell them that you’re unwilling to talk without a lawyer present to avoid self-incrimination.
Obey the Officer…to a Point
While you should obey the basics (like handing over your paperwork and stepping out of the car), you don’t have to do much beyond that.
You don’t have to take a field sobriety test if you don’t want to. The officer can ask, and you’re allowed to say that you won’t comply without a lawyer present. Even if you’re innocent, these tests may be troublesome to people with certain physical conditions or people who are nervous. Don’t incriminate yourself.
You also don’t have to take a breathalyzer. This one is more complex. If you know that you haven’t had anything to drink, you’re welcome to take it to get the officer to go on his way. If you’re at all worried, though (even if you think you’re below the legal limit), tell the officer you refuse.
Get Legal Help
When you refuse a breathalyzer, you will most likely be arrested. Continue to exercise your right to remain silent and contact a DUI attorney as soon as you can.
The cop’s job is to prove that you were drinking and driving. Without a breathalyzer, they can arrest you, but they can’t prove anything.
Refusing the breathalyzer isn’t a “get out of jail free card.” You may have your license suspended if you choose this option (even if you don’t deserve a DUI), so seeking out an attorney immediately is necessary.
Don’t Forget Your Rights During a DUI or DWI Stop
Being pulled over for a DUI doesn’t mean that your legal rights go out the window. When you follow these instructions and contact a lawyer, you’ll have a better chance of avoiding legal ramifications or softening your sentence if you’re guilty.
Don’t make your situation worse. Get legal help first.
Are you in need of a DWI or DUI lawyer in Austin? We’re here to represent you. Contact us for professional legal help and protect your rights.