If you get pulled over on suspicion of a DUI, the actions you take next could drastically affect your legal rights. It is important that you cooperate with and be polite to law enforcement during your DUI stop.
But in general, you have no obligation to say anything, nor should you. In fact, you should immediately ask for your attorney and refuse to answer questions. Call our Indianapolis DUI defense lawyer right away.
How to Act With Law Enforcement During a DUI Stop
Let’s first discuss the sort of behavior you should display towards police. To put it simply, you should show good manners and be polite. Don’t refuse to turn off your engine, put your hands on the steering wheel, or step out of your vehicle. When asked to do these things, you should cooperate immediately.
Be respectful and address the officer as sir or ma’am. Don’t display aggressive behavior or show any sort of negative attitude. You should certainly not resist arrest if it comes to that. You need to request to speak with an Indianapolis DUI defense lawyer as soon as possible.
One thing to know about your interaction with law enforcement is that it’s likely being recorded. This may include audio, dash cam video, and/or body cam video.
How you act and what you say will therefore probably be recorded. Imagine that a judge and jury are witnessing your behavior. And know that if you make a mistake or act disrespectfully, it will be used against you.
With that in mind, what should you say (or not) to law enforcement?
Limit the Information You Give Police
You should give the police officer the following information upon request:
- Your name
- Your driver’s license
- Your vehicle registration
- Your automobile insurance information
Beyond this, don’t answer any police questions. Tell the officer “I wish to exercise my right to remain silent and not answer any questions.” Repeat this every time they say anything to you or ask you any questions.
Often, law enforcement will ask questions that are designed to incriminate a DUI suspect. For example, the officer will ask, “How much have you had to drink tonight?” Even if you’ve only had one drink or no drinks, don’t respond to this question. Remain silent and say nothing. Don’t even attempt to offer an explanation or a defense of yourself.
Remember, what you are saying is probably being recorded and could be deliberately misconstrued. Your answers during a DUI stop may even invite more suspicion from law enforcement.
You should absolutely not confess or admit to anything. That includes consuming alcohol, consuming too much alcohol, driving while intoxicated, or breaking any traffic laws.
Even if you did any of these activities, you have the right to and should remain silent. Any statements you give, regardless of how innocent you think they are, may come back to haunt you later.
Maybe I Can Talk My Way Out of a Ticket?
You may believe that you can talk your way out of a DUI charge. Perhaps you’ve even successfully done so before. Don’t try this. The problem with doing this is that the suspect inevitably says too much.
Or the person pulled over may tell what amounts to a “small” lie, which hurts him or her later. Anything you say can and will be used against you in court. Even a false statement that is innocently uttered to an officer will hurt, not help, your case.
Don’t Speak to Others About a DUI Stop or Arrest
Later, you may be tempted to talk to family or friends about the DUI charge or arrest. You might even want to vent about the incident on social media.
These are also strongly advised against. A family member or friend may not stay quiet about the incident and may risk saying something that incriminates you. Conversely, a lawyer will keep your confidentiality.
Posting on social media is arguably worse. There’s a good chance law enforcement will find anything compromising on your accounts. You should deactivate those accounts when you get the chance. Ultimately, don’t use social media to plead your case. Save your side of the story and your complaints about police for your Indianapolis DUI attorney.
What Should You Say if You’re Being Questioned?
If police begin asking questions, tell them you want to speak with your lawyer. You can also say, simply, that you are exercising your constitutional right to remain silent. Otherwise, say nothing and speak as soon as possible with an Indianapolis DUI defense attorney.
Our Team Is Ready to Defend You
When you reach out to our Indianapolis DUI law firm, we get to work defending your rights and interests. We will review the evidence against you and investigate the circumstances surrounding your charge or arrest. There are a number of potential outcomes to your case, depending on the specific facts.
Let our team go to work building the best possible defense for you. Call Rathburn Law Office today.