Hearing a police siren closing in behind your car can raise your stress levels to the mountaintops. In situations like this, adrenaline may cause you to act out in ways that actually increase your chances for criminal charges and maybe even jail time. Let’s look at some things you should never do when the police pull you over.
#1 DO NOT answer any questions about whether you have had anything to drink
Generally, you do need to cooperate with peace officers. However, you have the right to remain silent whether you’ve been arrested or not. Police officers are doing their jobs when they ask whether you’ve been drinking, but it’s in your best interests to avoid answering any police questions until you have talked with a Washington criminal defense attorney.
#2 DO NOT shuffle around for your license and insurance card
The police officer who approaches your vehicle does not know you. He or she may be on high alert and watching for any suspicious behavior on your part. Frantically digging through the car looking for your ID and insurance card could be considered suspicious.
When the police pull you over, sit still with your hands on the steering wheel where the officer can see them. Don’t give the officers any reason to be more concerned than they already are.
#3 DO NOT be rude to the police officer
The police are like any other profession – some of the officers can be rude and abrasive while performing their duties. However, this is one situation where mouthing off can you get you in big trouble. Quietly and firmly exercise your rights, complying with the officer’s requests when necessary.
Stay calm. And remember that the best time to complain about a police officer is in the police station with your criminal defense attorney by your side.
#4 DO NOT take any of the field sobriety tests
You have the right to refuse to take any field sobriety tests if the police pull you over as a suspected DUI. This includes the voluntary breathalyzer that officers may ask you to take by the side of the road. However, remember two things:
- You are required to submit to a blood test at the police station; and
- You may face consequences for refusing the field sobriety tests.
With the advice of legal counsel, you may be able to minimize the effect of refusing to take the field sobriety test. However, it may be more difficult to overcome the police officer’s subjective opinion about what occurred during your field sobriety tests.
Exercising Your Rights When the Police Pull You Over Doesn’t Have to End Badly
Even if you have committed a crime, you still have rights. Call (425) 747-0582 for a free consultation with lawyer Sarah Cho at Peak Justice. She gladly uses her experience and training to assist clients like you. From her office located in Bellevue, Washington, Ms. Cho represents clients throughout the Seattle area.
Defense You Can Trust When Your Future Is at Stake