Being pulled over on suspicion of a DWI is extremely stressful, especially with the serious penalties that follow a conviction. In the hopes of receiving more lenient treatment, many drivers often attempt to cooperate with authorities without consulting an attorney, a choice that can have a negative impact on your case. Achieving the best possible results begins with knowing what to do if you’ve been pulled over for a DWI.
What to Do When Accused of a DWI
1. Politely Refuse to Answer Questions
In every interaction with a police officer, keep in mind that their goal is to collect evidence and build a case against you, no matter how conversational their questions may seem. Other than providing your name and identifying information, you aren’t required to answer questions about where you’re going or where you’ve come from.
2. Do Not Agree to a Search
While police may perform a search if they see evidence in plain view, in most cases you must agree before they can go through your car. There is never an upside to agreeing to a search, so politely refuse if the police ask.
3. Refuse to Take Field Sobriety Tests
While implied consent laws in every state require licensed drivers to take chemical tests when requested, field sobriety tests are not mandatory. If the officer asks you to perform a roadside test, they’ve likely already decided to arrest you, so there is no benefit in complying.
4. Contact an Attorney
During a DWI investigation, the police are required to follow strict protocols when collecting evidence and building their case. Your defense attorney will ensure your rights are respected throughout the process, help you understand your options, and challenge any evidence that was improperly collected.
With a former Douglas County prosecutor as principal attorney and over 20 years of experience, The Law Office of Christopher J. Swatosh has an in-depth understanding of the criminal justice system. If you’ve been accused of DWI, you can rely on this legal team to provide the zealous defense you deserve. Visit their website or call (417) 683-2987 to reach the office in Ava, MO, or dial (417) 582-5297 to schedule a consultation in Ozark. For more legal tips and insight, follow the law firm on Facebook.