What should I do if stopped by the police
Many people wonder what their rights are when the authorities contact
them. While every situation calls for individual advice, and laws
vary from state to state, we suggest the following general guidelines
(subject to our disclaimer):
If you are driving and are stopped by the police, you do not need
to tell them anything and you should not. As we often hear in the
movies - you have the right to remain silent and anything you say
can and will be used against you. Why would you say anything at
all if you know it will be used against you? The answer is simple
- in most cases you should not say anything when a police officer
is investigating you for DUI. If the police ask you if you have
something illegal in the vehicle, tell them you do not wish to answer
and also tell them you want to talk to your attorney immediately.
If you have a mobile phone, call 1-800-DUI-ATTORNEY from the side
of the road.
You also do not need to give the police permission
to search your vehicle or your home. You have the right to maintain
your privacy. Who wants a stranger digging through their glove compartment
or their closets? No one. So, if a police officer asks you if he
or she can search your vehicle or home, tell them they do not have
your permission. Also tell them you want to talk to your attorney
immediately and call us.
Even if the police tell you it will be easier on
you if you cooperate and answer their questions, you generally should
no. The police often try to convince someone to trust them when
they are trying to gather evidence to be used to CONVICT that person
of a crime. Nothing can substitute for sound legal advice should
you end up face to face with the police. Call us immediately if
you do come into contact with police, FBI, border authorities, DEA,
or any other government agent.
You should also remember to be polite and physically
cooperative with police officers at all times. If the officer arrests
you, do not resist or try to get away. This will just make things
worse. Do not speak to the officer, do not answer any questions,
and ask to speak to your attorney at 1-800-DUI-ATTORNEY immediately.
While we all know we have the "right to remain silent,"
most people do not know they have "the right to an attorney
at any time." Know your rights and take advantage of them.
Should I take a blood or breath test?
The laws vary tremendously from state to state.
In some states, you can refuse a breath test with no adverse consequences.
In other states, refusing can dramatically increase your license
suspension and/or jail sentence. In some states, refusing to take
a test can be a crime. Finally, in some states you cannot refuse
a breath or blood test. Because each situation is unique, and you
have the right to contact an attorney before deciding what to do,
you should always contact an attorney when you are faced with this
difficult decision. Feel free to call 1-800-DUI-ATTORNEY at any
Do I need an attorney?
Absolutely. An attorney will defend your rights.
Attorneys are well trained advocates who can usually secure a much
better result for you than you could by yourself. They will look
for errors committed in your case, including illegal stops, illegal
arrests, illegal searches, improper breath test warnings, and problems
with the workings of the breath or blood test itself. The complex
issues in DUI cases involve the constitution, complicated statutes,
chemistry and computer science. You cannot possibly learn everything
you need to know to counter experienced, professional prosecutors
whose job is to convict you. And, in some states, having an attorney
can keep you from having to go to numerous court hearings. In all
states, an experienced DUI attorney will guide you through the complicated
court process. Call 1-800-DUI-ATTORNEY to locate a DUI attorney
How much will an attorney cost?
The answer to this question will depend on the experience
of the attorney you contact and the complexity of your case. Most
of our attorneys will offer you a free initial consultation, either
over the phone or in person. They will provide you with a clear
estimate of how much it will cost to defend your case, and many
accept payment arrangements and credit cards.
What will happen to me if I am convicted
The sentencing laws very dramatically from state
to state. Most states have minimum amounts of jail time and long
license suspensions for persons convicted of DUI. Call 1-800-DUI-ATTORNEY
to locate an attorney who can protect your rights and help you avoid