What to Do If You Get Pulled Over Part 5: You Just Got Arrested.
I will begin this post as I will begin many others; please don't drink and drive. It's stupid and REALLY expensive if you get caught, not to mention you might kill someone. DON'T DRINK AND DRIVE. That being said, here's some tips on what you can do if you get pulled over and the officer could suspect you of drinking.
Well, you've made it through the stop and the initial conversation and the field sobriety testing but somewhere, you messed up. You are now in handcuffs and on the way to the police station where you will be booked and asked to submit to a chemical test. Here are some thoughts about what to do next.
1. Stay calm but shut your mouth.
Once the handcuffs are on, everything you say just goes in the file toward your eventual conviction. This is not to say that you should be rude, but there is no need or point to trying to talk your way out of anything at this point. Police hate paperwork, and the only thing that would cause more paperwork than taking you to the station and booking you is taking you back to your car and letting you go. It isn't going to happen. Secondly, anything you say now, you'll have to remember later and be perfectly consistent with from now until the end of this whole ordeal. Even if you are telling the truth the whole time, you have to remember all these different things and the slightest deviation paints you as a liar in front of a judge.
2. Ask for an attorney.
In the state of Missouri, as soon as the implied consent reminder is read to you, (a paper that the police are required to read informing you that you don't really have any rights) ask to call your attorney. Your attorney might not be there, your attorney might not have any good advice, or you might not even have an attorney. (If you're reading this blog in the area of Southwest Missouri and haven't put our phone number in your cell phone or wallet, do so now) None of that matters. Just ask to call an attorney. Failure to let you speak to an attorney is one of those important rights that the government likes to label as a "technicality" that can get your charges dismissed. Note here, the officer is not required to remind you of this right, and likely won't let you know that you have the ability. You must ask for it.
3. Should you blow?
At this point, the officer will have you sit in a room for 15 minutes in handcuffs (your nose will itch like crazy, just try not to think about it) for you to blow into an evidentiary breath test. By law, they must wait 15 minutes while you do not put anything or regurgitate anything in your mouth (to do so makes the test invalid) I can't tell you if you should take the test or not, but I can tell you the consequences of both. If you blow and you are above a .08 BAC according to the machine, you there is a higher chance that you are going to be convicted of a DUI/DWI. While a good attorney may be able to find some reason why your charges should be dismissed, with a positive breath test, there are fewer arguments an attorney can make. Furthermore, you will likely lose your license for a while, although in Missouri you can get a hardship license or limited driving privileges to keep you as a productive member of society. If you refuse to blow, your license is gone for a year (a lot harder to get back) and you can still be convicted of a DUI/DWI. However, if you already have two or three DWI's, there is a good reason not to blow. Also, if there was a car wreck or someone was injured, you might consider not blowing here as well, as breath test results could be admitted in your civil case and cost you millions or even to a manslaughter case. Again, it all depends on your situation.
4. Remember you are on TV
In the holding cell, in the dui machine room, everywhere at the police station, you are being videotaped. Anything you do can and probably will be shown to the judge or jury at your trial. Crying, wobbling, even acting happy can all be used against you. Best advice is to always remember you are on camera, and you should sit still with good posture like the upstanding citizen you are until you are allowed to leave.
If you have been arrested and/or charged with a DUI/DWI in Branson, Nixa, Ozark, Springfield, Greene County, Chrisitan County, Taney County, Stone County, or anywhere in the surrounding area of Southwest Missouri, please schedule a free consulation today by calling (417) 334-6316 or by clicking "Contact Us" above.