In the event you’re pulled over on suspicion of DWI, knowing what to do (and what not to do) is crucial. How you interact with the law enforcement officer who pulls you over – right down to your choice of words when answering a question – could make or break your case. To best protect yourself against an ultimate conviction, follow these crucial steps.
- Avoid dramatic gestures and sudden movements. Officers are on high alert when they pull over a suspect, even those they believe to be driving while intoxicated. Any sudden movements made by the driver could be perceived as threatening. If an officer feels at risk, he or she will react accordingly. If you are pulled over, stay in your vehicle (until the officer directs you to do otherwise) and keep your hands where the officer can see them.
- Answer questions cautiously. It’s not uncommon for an officer to ask incriminating questions when speaking to a driver believed to be under the influence. In such cases, the old adage, “anything you say can and will be used against you,” is absolutely true. Think twice before answering any questions pertaining to how much you’ve had to drink, even if you believe it to be a reasonable amount. An alternative response to questions of this nature would be something similar to, “I’ve been advised to not answer any questions until I have a lawyer present.”
- Do not refuse a chemical test at the station. Drivers in the state of New York are held to the law of implied consent, which states that any person with a valid driver’s license has already agreed to take a chemical test upon arrest for DWI. Even if you are ultimately found not guilty, refusing to take a chemical test could lead to driver’s license revocation.
- Document everything from the date of your arrest. The most effective way to fight charges that have been made against you is with ample evidence. The more your attorney knows about the events leading up to you being pulled over, the better. While your memory is fresh, document all events leading up to and immediately following the arrest. Where were you when you were pulled over? How long after your last drink were you arrested? Did the officer read your Miranda Rights to you? How much time elapsed between your last drink and when you took the chemical test?
- Hire an attorney. Fighting a DWI accusation in New York requires the skill of an experienced defense lawyer. Now is not the time to settle for a public defender, as he or she will likely have dozens of cases to tend to – and yours won’t be the priority. Putting an invested DWI defense lawyer on your side could significantly improve your chances of securing a successful outcome.
After an arrest, do not wait to contact a Rochester DWI lawyer at King Law for a consultation.