Advice from a miami dui lawyer - what to do if stopped by a police officer
Posted on July 03, 2009 3:00 AM EST
A Miami criminal lawyer
suggests you act in accordance with the following instructions if you are pulled over in Miami or Miami Beach for driving under the influence
. Imagine yourself cruising down Ocean Drive on Miami Beach late on a Friday night. Having just finished a few drinks you feel marvelous! There is a full moon rising over the ocean, the sky is clear and the night air is cool and crisp and the radio is blasting with your favorite song. Suddenly, in your rear view mirror you see blue and red police lights and hear the sound of a siren. Looking up you see a police officer signaling you to pull over. Your heart immediately starts racing, what do you do?
First of all, don't panic, always remain composed. Take a deep breath, exhale and try to remain calm and relaxed. Before stopping your car, look again at the car behind you with the lights and siren. Determine if it is a marked police car or just a car with a light or siren. If it is a marked unit, pull over in a safe and reasonable manner. Gradually apply your brakes and pull completely off the roadway to a safe area. Do not block traffic. If it is not a marked police car; put on your hazard lights, slow down and drive to well-lit area with people around. This is for your own safety.
Once you are stopped, ensure that the windows are down. Remain in your car and place both of your hands on the steering wheel and wait for instructions from the police officer. Some officers will approach your car, while others will request that you step out of your car. If it is dark, the officer will direct a floodlight or spotlight to illuminate your car for his or her safety. If the light is in your eyes, tilt the mirrors slightly up or down. While waiting for the officer, think of where you have your driver's license, registration and proof of insurance.
Once you are approached by the officer, a Miami DUI lawyer would suggest that you remain in control of your emotions, body language and words. Be polite and respectful. If you are, you have a better chance that the officer will not arrest you for DUI. Don't complain or argue with the officer. If you feel that he has done wrong, just make a mental note of his name and report him to a supervisor at a later time.
Do not retrieve your driver's license and accompanying documents unless asked to do so by the police officer. Try to avoid engaging the officer in conversation. The officer probably does not care what you have to say and you may get yourself into trouble. A Miami DUI lawyer would recommend speaking as little as possible. Direct answers to direct questions works best. If you like, you can ask why you have been stopped. If you choose not to speak, remember you have a Fifth Amendment
right to refuse to answer questions posed by law enforcement officers. However, if you refuse to answer questions the police may become suspicious of you. This may cause them to investigate you more thoroughly. If the officer attempts to engage you in conversation, be polite, tell him/her that you are in a hurry and don't have time to talk. If the officer persists, ask him/her if you are free to leave?
Do not agree to any physical tests or exercises. Do not agree to take a breath, urine or blood test. Invoke your right to an attorney and to remain silent. These guidelines may not preclude you from an arrest, but the advice provided by this Miami DUI lawyer will provide you many defenses to your case.