Once you have been asked by the police to pull over for suspected drunk driving (which you actually did), it can be quite difficult to escape their unrelenting interrogation, and their persuasiveness to have you take the field sobriety tests and be subjected to the Breathalyzer. They start probing about your previous whereabouts, where you live, as well as the components of your last meal and beverage intake. A very common, albeit more often than not disadvantageous reaction is to give in to these, in the hopes of avoiding arguments and perhaps even winning the officer’s sympathy.
Before you can even open your mouth to answer their queries, or boldly step out of the car to take the field sobriety tests, think again. Bear in mind that every single detail you furnish them with can be used against you, especially if the situation winds up in a courtroom. Therefore, be careful about the things you say – or better yet ask to be granted your right to remain silent and then ask for legal representation. Take out your phone, and call your lawyer at once.
A not-so-uncommon misconception
But why? Why not simply skip the hassle and let them have their way, anyway it’s only your second offense and more importantly, an accident did not occur. They let you have it last time, so maybe a second time isn’t too bad after all. Moreover, the previous offense happened three years ago, so they probably won’t remember, right? Not right.
First and foremost, it’s not just only your second offense – it’s the second offense. This means that you will be facing heavier consequences because you have committed the same violation for the second time. While it is sometimes true that authorities can be a bit more lenient when it’s the first offense, the second time can be more serious. Next, a second violation taking place in less than five years since the last one makes the feat more difficult to conquer. Your DWI charge will be permanently on record – regardless if it’s the first or not, so it is impossible that the authorities would not know it’s the second time it has happened. You will no longer be at their mercy, and since you had violated the law again, your consequences will be more burdensome. Usually, consecutive DWI arrests occurring within a five-year interval will take away your driving privileges for an entire year. Perhaps that’s way too long to be worth ‘skipping the hassle’ over, isn’t it?
So before you nonchalantly shrug the matter off and just let the officer drag you into the police’s custody, know what rights you are entitled to and be wary of the consequences of your every word and deed. Here are some tips you can follow to stay on the right track:
Ask only the help of an excellent and reliable DWI lawyer
You need someone who can use the facts to tip the case to your advantage, and for this an attorney has to have all the knowledge, experience and skill required. As much as possible, hire someone who has been in the field for a minimum of five years to ensure that they have adequate experience in handling such case.
Call for an attorney PRONTO.
As mentioned earlier, the best time to ring your lawyer is some time in between the moment you are about to open your mouth to defend your cause and the moment the officer pulls you out of the car for further investigation. Trust that your lawyer can defend your cause better than you can.
Don’t ever dilly-dally on the matter.
“It’s just an alcohol violation, not like I killed someone or burglarized a bank!” Reality check: it wasn’t just an alcohol violation – authorities arrested you before you could hurt yourself or other people in a car accident – which could have as well led into somebody’s untimely death. Therefore, alcohol violation can cause more inconvenience than you actually expect; dilly-dallying will not lighten the burden, in fact it will have the opposite effect.
Respect the legal process nonetheless.
Don’t boycott any court hearing. Failing to be in court as scheduled only gives the authorities a reason to bench warrant for your arrest. This means that the next time you’ll be caught in a traffic misdemeanor, you will be brought to jail wherein you will be spending an unexpectedly bigger portion of your time.
It’s natural to get frustrated or feel embarrassed and panic when you are facing charges for DWI. However, you should know that there is always a proper way to deal with the situation. Remember that one fault cannot be corrected by another wrongdoing, so see to it that you pursue the right road in trying to work your way out of it. Though there may not be a legit way to literally get out when you have violated the law, at least you can be served the justice you are due in the process.
Cedric Loiselle is an experienced writer who enjoys imparting useful information to many readers. The topics he usually writes about include finance, home improvement, health, as well as tips in facing legal issues. He may also refer you to a good louisiana dwi lawyer.