Few things are more intimidating than being pulled over by a police officer, especially when you know that you’ve been flagged for drunk driving. Regardless of whether or not you’re guilty, you still have important rights, and your actions during the arrest can go a long way toward either helping or hurting your legal case.
In this post, we’ll review some of the things you should not do when you’re pulled over; any of these actions can ultimately backfire, lead to further legal peril, or simply make your life harder than it needs to be.
Things to Avoid When Pulled Over for a DWI
Act aggressively or rudely toward the police officer
There is simply no chance that rude behavior is ever going to help you or incline the officer to “go easy” on you. Instead, it’s only going to make things worse, especially if your boorish behavior confirms for the officer that you’re heavily drunk. The worst-case scenario here is that you get locked up in the drunk tank immediately, which will just compound your legal headaches.
The police officer will ask you some questions about where you’ve been, whether you’ve been drinking, etc. You can answer these questions truthfully, but you’ll also want to keep your chat to a minimum. There’s no need to go into your life story. In fact, simple yes/no answers are ideal, whenever possible.
Offering a bribe
There’s nothing more foolish than trying to bribe your way out of a DWI conviction. The odds are extremely high that you’ll be charged with two crimes… drunk driving and attempting to bribe an officer of the law.
Trying to escape
If you try to evade the cops, you’re essentially confirming your guilt. What’s more, your chances of successfully ditching them are extremely slim. It’s always better to stay put and be cooperative.
Making sudden or jerky movements
Remember, the police have to be vigilant and defensive at all times; if you make some sudden or jerky motion, they may think you’re reaching for a weapon. It’s always best to stay as calm as you can be.
Telling a lie
If the officer asks you something that could incriminate you, plead the Fifth and don’t answer. Or, do answer… but do so truthfully. Lying to the police is never something that ends well.
Getting into a legal argument
Leave the legal arguments for your DWI attorney. Frankly, you probably don’t have the legal expertise to get into a debate with the police. And you definitely don’t have the standing.
Taking the field tests
The officer who pulls you over may ask you to take some field tests, like walking in a straight line, etc. These tests are designed to trip you up, and even completely sober people can fail them. You do not have to take them, and it’s generally better to decline.
Refusing to seek help
At your first opportunity, make sure you reach out to a qualified DWI attorney in your area. You’ll need someone with real legal know-how to help you fight the charges and get the lightest sentencing possible.
By avoiding all the things on this list, you can minimize your legal burdens.
And if you do need a DWI attorney in the Austin area, reach out to Davis-Jones Law Firm. Our lawyers have ample experience providing vigorous defense on behalf of those accused of driving under the influence. We are here to assist with your case whenever you need us.
Reach out to us today to speak with a lawyer.