Unfortunately, you were driving home and you’d had a few too many drinks. You thought you’d be fine, but that officer who saw you drive by didn’t think so. So those blue lights went on and you got pulled over. There are some right ways to handle getting pulled over, and some wrong ways. There are also some smart ways to handle the aftermath, and some not so smart ways. Let’s take a look at those first.
Don’t try to be your own lawyer.
A DUI is a serious charge and you ‘ll need a good lawyer to help you through this. Do a search in your area specifically for a DUI lawyer, like San Mateo DUI lawyers, or whatever your city is. Don’t try to be your own lawyer – this isn’t the time for DIY.
Don’t try to hide stuff from your lawyer.
Once you find that lawyer, be honest with him or her. It will be worse for you if the things you didn’t tell your lawyer come out during the trial. It’s the time to be open – you’ve hired this guy, trust him.
Let’s back up just a bit to the time of the arrest. What you do here could make a big difference, so remember these things not to do just in case this ever happens to you…
Don’t joke or mouth off to the officer.
This is the time to be serious. Be respectful. It’s not the time to try to be funny or tough. Disrespect will get you nowhere. Well, nowhere that you want to be. Even if it’s making you crazy, suck it up and be respectful and serious.
Don’t make sudden movements or reach for things without asking.
If you are reaching suddenly for something, the officer could think it’s a weapon. Don’t do it. If you need to get your insurance card out of your glove box, ask the officer beforehand. They have to protect themselves, so things could get bad if he thinks you’re doing something like going for a weapon.
Don’t run and hide.
It just won’t work. Running from the cops is never a good idea no matter how many drinks you’ve had. They will find you, and things will only be worse.
So what should you do instead?
On the other hand, if you do get pulled over for DUI, there are some ways to behave instead of the above. Here are some things you should do if pulled over for DUI:
- Show your proof of insurance and driver’s license.
- Know that you can refuse to answer questions, even if the officers don’t read you your Miranda rights (which they probably won’t unless they “Arrest” you instead of “Detain” you). You don’t have to tell them if you were drinking or where you were. You can exercise your right to he 5th Amendment. However, remember to do so in a respectful manner.
- Call that lawyer. Remember we said don’t try to be your own lawyer. Well, don’t. But do find a good one to represent you. This is a serious matter and could cost you your job and your license and even put you in jail. Your lawyer is going to be your ally. He can look for things the officer may have done wrong like using poorly calibrated equipment, not having reason to pull you over or search your car, or overlooking things that may make your breath test unreliable, like medical conditions or dental work. Let your lawyer do the work.
- Get to court on time and present yourself well. Just like you shouldn’t be rude to the officer when he pulled you over, don’t be belligerent in court. Be on time, well dressed and respectful to the judge and everyone else. This can have an impact on your punishment, and you want a good impact.
As with most things in life, there are right and wrong ways to handle a DUI arrest. Sure, the best things to do is don’t drink and drive, but if you get pulled over, remember these things. Don’t do the dumb ones, just the smart ones.
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