8 Things to Remember if You're Pulled Over for DWI/DUI
The potential consequences of a DWI are both criminal (jail or prison time) and civil (driver’s license suspension). If you're pulled over for a DWI or DUI in Texas, keep the following in mind.
How to handle situations like being pulled over for DWI in Texas.
Board Certified Criminal Defense attorney Jonathan Hyatt recommends that you follow the following steps if you are pulled over for DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) in Texas.
If you are being pulled over, bear in mind that if you follow these steps, you may still be arrested. The suggestions below are designed to help you in the event that this stop extends to a detention and arrest. The implications of this extend beyond a trip to jail. Your driver’s license is at risk along with your Liberty. Following these steps puts your DWI defense in a better position to challenge any results that come out of the investigation.
What to do if you’re pulled over for DWI in Texas
1. Have your license and registration ready.
Being pulled over is nerve-wracking under any circumstances, but if you’re pulled over under suspicion for driving under the influence, it takes the potential implications from a mere ticket to potential jail or prison time. Bearing this in mind, take a deep breath and follow these basic tips.
2. Be nice.
Taking the long view of any interaction with law enforcement, being a jerk helps no one. If you’re a jerk, the likelihood of law enforcement being cooperative is negligible. In the event that the stop extends to a detention and arrest, causing a ruckus does nothing to help you as you’re more memorable to law enforcement and it is less likely that a prosecutor will look favorably upon a defendant that treats law enforcement poorly.
3. Assume that everything is being recorded.
In this day and age, patrol units from law enforcement are often-times equipped with recording devices. Additionally, officials often wear microphones that connect back to their patrol unit’s system, so assume everything you say and do is being recorded. Additionally, technology and recent tension between law enforcement and defendants has resulted in many officers wearing body cameras. This means that not only is the perspective from the front of the patrol car and passenger compartment of the patrol unit recorded, but oftentimes, the entire interaction is recorded from the perspective of the investigating officer. If charges are filed, all of these videos should be made available during the discovery process and the prosecutor and potential jurors might see how you act, what you do and how you react to requests from law enforcement.
4. Assert your right to an attorney.
Law Enforcement may say you do not need one, but you have a right to an attorney when you’re accused of a crime.
5. Do not volunteer any information.
You have a right to remain silent. The fact is that anything you say is probably being recorded and can ultimately be used against you. This is a stressful situation and unfortunately, stress makes folks sound worse than they would sound if they were not in such a potentially compromising situation.
6. Do not consent to field sobriety testing.
The entire time that law enforcement has you pulled over, the investigating officer is gathering evidence to potentially file a case against you. Law Enforcement is conducting a criminal investigation. Field sobriety tests are designed to see how you react to various stimuli. As number 3 indicates, assume that all of your reactions are being recorded. Are you well versed in saying the alphabet backwards? Are you coordinated? How’s your balance? How’s your eye-hand coordination? Are you listening to all of the instructions given to you? All of these things and many more are tested during field sobriety testing, and there are legitimate reasons why an individual might perform poorly on such tests, even when sober.
7. Do not consent to either a breath or blood test.
Make law enforcement get a warrant. In such a warrant, law enforcement must give specific, articulable facts to satisfy a magistrate. In the event that charges are filed against you, this is an area that must be examined and might be grounds for challenging the testing itself. By consenting to a blood draw or a breath test, you waive many rights that a Defense Attorney has at challenging the justification behind drawing your blood or collecting a breath sample.
8. Challenge License Suspension.
If you are arrested for DWI, you must request a hearing within 15 days, otherwise, you will have a mandatory suspension of your driver’s license. By requesting a hearing, you stay the automatic suspension.
Contact Longview DWI Defense Attorney Jonathan Hyatt.
If you or a loved one has been arrested or accused of DWI, call our Longview office at 903 234 9544. We’ll meet you when you’re available; on nights, weekends, on your terms.