The Things People Wish They Knew Before They Got Pulled Over for Suspicion of a DUI

Getting pulled over for suspicion of DUI is considered to be one of the most serious crimes.  This is because you not only endanger your life, but also that of other innocent road users.  However, if you have been pulled over, there are a number of things that you need to know.

This is especially  important when it comes to the legal aspects so that you can know your rights and what is expected of you to facilitate the same.  What should you do if you have been pulled over for suspicion of DUI?

So What Should I Do?

If you have been pulled over, the first thing to remember is that the criminal justice system works under the presumption that you are innocent unless you have been proved otherwise by a court of competent jurisdiction.  Do not resist pulling over as this might lead to unnecessary charges being preferred against you.

What to Remember

If you have been pulled over or not, there are three golden rules that you need to remember at all times.  The first rule is that you do not have to let the police officer access you vehicle.  If you do not want to consent to any searches, then you have absolutely every right to request that they get a warrant prior to any search.

The next important thing to know is that you do not have to answer any questions without your lawyer present.  (Except, name, address, etc.)  You do not have to do the field sobriety tests, like walking the line and touching your nose.

Once you request that your attorney be present for questioning, you should request the officer for permission to leave.  Be keen to certify that the person who has pulled you over is indeed from the relevant authorities.  This can be established by checking the badge number that is usually on the front shirt of the officer.

For safety purposes, it is advisable that you have a recording device to cover the entire process.  This should include the time when you have been pulled over and the steps that have been taken since the officer asked you to roll down your window.  This should however be done in a cautious and careful manner, preferably after notifying the officer that the events are being recorded.

 

How DUI Tests Work

In most of the cases, if you have been pulled over under suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol of any intoxicating substances, a number of tests have to be conducted in order to establish whether you exceed the legally prescribed limit.  You might be required to provide a sample of your saliva or blood in order for this to be established.

Insist on having this done in a safe and secure manner that does not expose you to any infections or diseases. This should preferably be done in the presence of another officer.  In Arizona, if you do not give a blood, breath or urine sample you automatically lose your driver’s license for one year.  Law enforcement will get a warrant and get the sample anyway.  Best practice is to give a blood, breath or urine sample when asked.

If the law enforcement officer is male and you are of the opposite sex, then you can demand that the tests be done by an officer of the same sex.  This not only limits the chances of you being violated, but also provides you with the best chance of obtaining justice.

The Mistakes to Avoid

If you have been pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving, some of the things to avoid include:

Do not resist.  Comply with the law enforcement officer and pull over at a safe location where you do not obstruct other road users and put on the hazard lights.  Turn off the engine and wait for the officer.

Do not panic. Y ou have nothing to be afraid of.  The law is there principally to ensure that your rights are well protected.  It is important to note that whatever your situation, there is a legal mechanism in place to protect your interests.

Finally, if you need the services of a lawyer, make sure that you contact a professional and competent one.  The lawyer will be essential in ensuring that your rights are not violated in any manner and that you stand the best chance of finding justice. Any questions or concerns that you might have will be clarified by the lawyer.

If You Have Been Accused of a Crime, This Advice May Save You From Serious Jail Time

There are many times people get arrested and don’t know how to handle it.  It may be your fist experience with law enforcement.  What if you feel you’ve not committed a crime?  This is a difficult situation.  It’s important to not let a bad situation turn into a serious crime.  There is important information you need to know.

Arrest Advice

If you are arrested, it means that  law enforcement has taken you into custody because they believe you’ve committed a crime.  You are not permitted to leave the scene of the incident.  You can also be held by law enforcement or a period of time for questioning and not be arrested.

This means they believe you have valuable information concerning a crime that was committed.  It’s important to remember there is no legal requirement for you to answer questions by law enforcement. You only have to provide them with your name and address shown on the identification you provided.

Advice for Before You Hear Your Miranda Rights

Should law enforcement place you under arrest, the law requires that they read you your Miranda rights.  Reading of the Miranda rights is guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution.  If you are not read your Miranda rights, an attorney representing you can ask a judge to not use any statements you may have made to law enforcement.

This has no influence on the dismissal of a case.  It also doesn’t apply if law enforcement did not ask you any questions, but you still supplied them with information.  You need to remember whether or not your Miranda rights have been read to you.

Advice After You Hear Your Miranda Rights

It is legal for members of law enforcement to question you after you’ve been read your Miranda rights. Law enforcement is not required to provide an attorney unless you request one.  If you give up your right to legal counsel prior to being questioned, you need to realize what you’ve lost.

When a person requests an attorney, the questioning by law enforcement must stop immediately. If you continue to speak, anything you say can be used against you in court.  According to the U.S. Constitution, anyone charged with a crime is entitled to speak with a lawyer even if they can’t afford to pay for one.  It is recommended that when you are arrested that you not speak to law enforcement.  You should request to speak with legal counsel first.
Arrest Warrant Advice

If law enforcement has good reason to believe you have committed a crime, a warrant for your arrest could be issued. The warrant has to be signed by a magistrate or a judge.  An arrest warrant enables law enforcement to take someone into custody in their home.

A person may be arrested without a warrant if action is needed to stop them from escaping, destroying evidence associated with the alleged criminal activity, someone’s life is in endanger and more.  It’s important to not resist this detention or arrest.  If someone attempts to resist, they can be charged with a misdemeanor or even a felony depending on the situation.

Should you resist, law enforcement can utilize force to take you into custody.  If law enforcement believes you are a threat to cause serious injury, they can use deadly force.

Bail Advice

If you are arrested, you may have to wait months until your trial date.  Jail is not a place people want to be for months.  An experienced attorney will know how to handle a bail hearing.  The amount of your bail will be determined by a judge.

The judge will take into consideration such things as the seriousness of the crime you are charged with and your past criminal history.  Bail is an amount of money paid to a court to make certain the person charged with a crime returns for their trial. If you fail to appear for your court date any bail money paid will be kept by the court.  An arrest warrant will usually be issued for your arrest.

If you feel the bail amount requested by the court is excessive, an attorney can help you get a bail reduction hearing.  A lawyer may also be able to make a case to a judge that you should be released on your own recognizance.  This means you will not have to pay any bail and the judge believes you will return to court for your court date.