Police don't often pull people over for friendly conversations. If an officer thinks they had a reason to pull you over, their interactions with you will be designed to get you to incriminate yourself. Be polite, but don't think innocent questions are really innocent. Officers are trained to get you to let your guard down and open up. Don't give in! With that in mind...
Keep your mouth shut! (as much as possible)
The less information you give to an officer, the less evidence they will have on you later. Keep your answers to one or two words each, if possible. Don't talk about your day. Don't offer any information that isn't specifically asked for.
Have you been drinking? No. An officer will often say they can smell alcohol on your breath. Guess what - alcohol is odorless. Let your attorney handle the allegations for you. Don't give evidence that can be used against you. Have you been smoking weed? No. Are you on any prescription drugs that can alter your ability to drive right now? No. Is there anything in your car I should know about? NO!
Do not submit to a search!
When the police ask permission to search your vehicle, they likely don't have probable cause to do it without your consent. Even if they later get a warrant or develop probable cause and search anyway, don't make their job any easier! Even if you "know" nothing illegal is in your car, has anyone else ever ridden with you? If so, how can you know for sure that nothing slipped out of a pocket and onto your car floor. Trust me, consenting to a search is never a good idea. Never.
Do not agree to Field Sobriety Tests
Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs) are designed for one thing - to give an officer the proof necessary to convict you in court of DUI. You have every right to refuse to give them this proof. Now, you may very well get arrested anyway, but guess what - you have a much better chance of being acquitted at trial when there is no real evidence of your being intoxicated. Speaking of which...
Do not blow!
Just like with FSTs, an officer wants you to blow into a breathalyzer to get firm evidence that your blood-alcohol level is over the legal limit. Don't give them this evidence! Sure, you will be threatened with an administrative suspension of your drivers license for refusing to blow, but your attorney has ways of possibly keeping this from happening. And if you get convicted of DUI, you're absolutely going to have your license suspended, so why risk it?
Have a tow truck phone number handy
If, for some reason, you are arrested, the police will want to tow your car. Once they get it back to the station, they will search it. They claim these searches are for your protection, but if they find anything illegal in there, get ready to be charged. Plus, the impound lots charge tons of money to store your vehicle.
Instead of letting all this happen, tell the police you want to hire your own tow truck to take your car home, or have a friend come pick it up for you. If the police refuse, your attorney may have a good reason then to have any evidence taken from your car kept out of court.
Remain as calm as possible
When you're being questioned by an officer, the last thing you need is a charge for resisting arrest or obstruction. Remember that officers are looking for a reason to charge you with something - anything! While you don't want to give them evidence of a moving violation, you also need to make sure they can't slap any other charges on you too.
Get an attorney immediately!
If you've been charged with DUI. drug possession, or any other offense, the faster you hire an attorney and get them working for you, the more they are able to help. For instance, you only have 10 days to save your drivers license after a DUI charge. If you wait a couple of weeks to get an attorney, it will be too late!
Find an attorney who regularly handles these types of cases and keeps up with the latest rules. An attorney like me, who regularly handles these cases, will be best able to protect your rights.
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