What To Do After Being Pulled Over For A DWI
March 14th, 2018 by Brent de la Paz
Like many of my clients, you were probably not expecting to start your criminal record when you got a DWI. Most of the people who are charged with a DWI are regular folks like you or me. From the moment you see those red and blue lights in your rearview mirror to the time the officer interacts with you, every action you make counts. Always respond respectfully and politely. Here is what you should do after being pulled over for a DWI.
Know What To Expect
So you’ve just been pulled over…now what? After the police officer runs your license, they will ask you to perform a recorded field sobriety test; three standardized tests that are designed to indicate if a person is impaired. While these tests are not always accurate, the officer will use them to gauge a sense of your capabilities. The recorded film can be used as evidence in your trial in front of a jury.Following the sobriety tests, you may be asked to take a Breathalyzer test. While this may offer evidence against you, it is important to know that they are not 100% reliable.
Know The Potential Outcomes
After the field tests you will most likely be arrested and taken to a police station or a mobile holding unit. There, you will be administered an official breath or blood alcohol test where they can determine your true level of intoxication. You should be prepared to spend the night in a cell and be released on bond.
Remember, you do have the right to refuse both the field sobriety tests and the breathalyzer test. After handing your license to the officer, you are not obligated to do anything else. Since the officer cannot just let you go, you will typically be arrested.
Know How To Refuse
Just because you know you have the right to refuse, that doesn’t mean you should do so with an attitude. Being blatantly uncooperative can escalate the situation and make matters worse for you. Additionally, if you are filmed being rude and uncooperative, the jury on your trial may judge your more harshly; hurting your chances of a successful outcome.
Instead, refuse but be polite about it. Kindly let the officer know that you are not sure you want to perform the sobriety or breathalyzer tests without consulting a legal advisor first. Make it very clear that you are not trying to be uncooperative, you just want to do what is in your best legal interest. If this is seen on film, the jury may empathize with you; as many of them would’ve done the same thing if they were in your situation.
Seek Legal Expertise
If you or someone you know is facing DWI charges, it is important that you contact me immediately. With my years of experience in the field, I can start building your defense and give you the direction you need. Don’t wait to take action. Give yourself a greater chance of winning your case by seeking my legal expertise.