By: James Davis
Most stops conducted by the police involve some sort of alleged traffic violation. The typical police report will assert that you were speeding, weaving, or crossed over some traffic lane divider. When the officer approaches your window he’ll try to engage you in a conversation. He’ll obviously ask for your driver’s license, and possibly your registration and insurance card. The officer is making note of everything you do. He’s building his case to arrest you, and you don’t even know it. Make sure your driver’s license is out and ready to be provided. One of the first observations police note is that the driver fumbled for his driver’s license or handed me a credit card. He’ll ask if you’ve been drinking. Never admit to drinking alcohol. You don’t have to answer these questions. He will ask you to step out of the car. Every move you make is being observed and noted in his report. How you used the door to get out of the car, and whether in his opinion you had difficulty exiting your car is of particular important. Your walking and performance on the sobriety tests is closely examined. Simply, every move you make is being noted and will be used to build a case against you. Once you’ve been arrested you will be asked to take the breath test at the jail. If you do not take the test your driver’s license may be suspended for up to 18 months. If you take the test and blow .08 or above it will be suspended too. The breath test operator doesn’t tell you that!
The next morning or afternoon you will appear in first appearance court. The courtroom bailiff may hand you a plea form in anticipation of getting you to plead to the DUI.
DO NOT PLEAD GUILTY IN FIRST APPEARANCE COURT.
Even if you believe you are guilty you have the right to plead not guilty. You may feel pressure from the Judge or courtroom personnel to plead guilty and go home.
Do not succumb to this pressure. Plead NOT GUILTY and bond out of jail. We’ll handle the rest.
Remember, almost every piece of evidence the police have to build a DUI case is given to them by you! You tell them how much you’ve had to drink. You took the tests and gave them more evidence. Lastly, you blew .08 or above. Don’t give the police everything they need to convict you of DUI.