Any encounter with the police can be nerve racking. A DUI stop is, even more, nerve racking because of the punishments for the crime. The higher stakes mean that you should make sure not to help the officer’s case. There are several simple yet effective ways not to help the officer improve their case. Follow the steps in this article. If you have to write these suggestions down and leave them in your car so you can remember them during a high-stress DUI stop.
Stay Calm and Respectful
First and foremost, you want to keep calm and be respectful of the police. Being aggressive and angry is a good way to guarantee that you will have a difficult time during the DUI stop. Just take deep breaths and try to relax. You don’t have to be aggressive to exercise your rights.
Follow the instructions of the police officer within reason. You have to provide your driver’s license, insurance card, and registration. However, that is one of the few requests you must comply with. Depending on the circumstances of the traffic stop, you may have to comply with additional requests. For instance, if there is an open beer in your cup holder, the officer has enough probable cause to search your vehicle and ask you to step out of the car. Be careful because the police often make requests seem more like demands.
Exercise Your Right to Remain Silent
During a DUI stop, you want to make sure that you don’t incriminate yourself. The best way to not incriminate yourself is by remaining silent. Remember that anything you say can and will be used against you in court. Therefore, you should never admit to having an alcoholic beverage. Even if your last beer was seven years ago, do not tell the police. Anything you say can help their case.
Remaining silent isn’t enough. You have to state that you are exercising your right to remain silent under the 5th amendment of the constitution. Respectfully state that you know your rights and are not going to answer any questions. Answering a police officers questions rarely helps your case. Exercising your rights will show the police officer that you know what your rights are and that you won’t be taken advantage of.
Never Submit to Field Sobriety Tests
Field sobriety tests are difficult for many people even when they are sober. If you have an injury or a balance problem you could fail the field sobriety tests miserably. Most importantly, field sobriety tests are not a requirement during a DUI stop. Therefore, you have the right to refuse the tests. Police officers may make these tests seem like demands, but they aren’t. Respectfully decline to take the tests. They will probably hurt your case and rarely help.
Additionally, submitting to the portable breath test is also voluntary. You can decline to take the portable breath test. However, if you do so, you will likely be arrested because of New Jersey’s implied consent laws. You will then be given the opportunity to submit to another chemical test. These tests include blood, breath, and urine tests. The police will take you to a local hospital and given the opportunity to take a chemical test. If you refuse this test, you will receive an immediate suspension of driving privileges. Therefore, it may be best to submit to the test. Your New Jersey DUI lawyer can challenge the accuracy of these tests. When you refuse the test there is very little your attorney can do for you.
Contact a Lawyer
If you do receive DUI charges, you will want to contact an attorney immediately. If you follow the suggestions in this article, you will greatly help your attorney and your case. Giving your attorney the best possible chance to defend you will increase the chances of having your charges thrown out.
Douglas Herring has years of experience defending people in New Jersey from DUI charges. He can help you fight the charges on some fronts. The first is probable cause. Following the simple instructions will reduce the amount of evidence the police have to determine probable cause. If the police arrest you without probable cause, your case can be thrown out by the court. Also, Douglas Herring can challenge the accuracy of your chemical test results. The testing equipment is very sensitive, and the hospital must maintain and calibrate the machinery. If these machines are even slightly off, the court may not allow the results as evidence in your case.
If you are facing a DUI charge in New Jersey, contact Douglas Herring today. He will aggressively represent you and fight by your side.