SAN ANGELO, TX — If a police or highway patrol officer pulls you over for suspected drunk driving, or DWI, in Tom Green County or inside the city of San Angelo, there are many scenarios that may run through your mind, one of the main facts you should keep in mind, however, is that there are certain things you should or should not do, to improve your chances in a criminal DWI case.
After getting pulled over, having this knowledge will help you successfully defend yourself after a DWI, BWI or DUI arrest, or result in you not being charged at all.
Be aware that these steps will still often result in your arrest for drunk driving and you risk losing your driver’s license.
When those flashing red and blue lights hit your rearview mirror, understand that you are being pulled over. The first thing you should do is find a safe place to stop. If you cannot find a safe area out of the roadway, be sure to slow down and indicate your intent to stop, by turning on your blinker. Stop at the first available and safe area.
The moment that officer’s overhead lights turn on, you are being filmed with their camera and when the officer is within earshot of you, you are also being recorded audibly. Be sure to speak respectfully and follow any basic instructions such as, giving the officer your name and handing them your license and proof of insurance. Keep your hands visible and cooperate with the officer’s reasonable requests.
Keep in mind you that you do have the constitutional right to remain silent. Do not answer any questions that may incriminate you, such as:
- How much have you had to drink?
- When did you have your first drink?
- What bar were you at? and etc.
When an officer begins asking you these questions, they are now conducting an investigation. Therefore, although these questions seem harmless, your answers may give officers a reason to detain you longer. The longer you are detained, the more likely you will be heading to jail.
Let the officer know that you would like to exercise your right to remain silent. When you are being accused of a crime, such as a DWI, you have the right to a lawyer, be sure to assert that right even if the officer states it is not necessary, or something to that effect.
If you have been arrested for DWI, especially in San Angelo or within Tom Green County, please contact Brian Raymond Law as soon as you have the opportunity. The sooner we talk to you about your situation, the sooner we can help you resolve it.
The officer may ask you to step out of the vehicle. If he or she does, follow his or her instructions and remain calm. The officer may request that you take a field sobriety test.
You have the right to refuse to do any such tests without your lawyer present. There is no statutory penalty for refusing to participate in a field sobriety test.
The officer may ask you to perform a breathalyzer test.
You have the right to refuse both the breathalyzer and blood test. If this is your first DWI, Refusing to take the breathalyzer could result in the suspension of your driving privileges.
How long your license will be suspended depends on the number of times you have been convicted of DWI:
- 180-day license suspension if you have never been convicted and this is a first-time DWI offense
- Two-year license suspension for a second DWI offense
- Two-year license suspension for a third DWI offense
Either way, whether you refuse to take the breathalyzer or blood test, or you even if you accept the test and fail, you are still given 15 days to request a hearing in order to keep your license.
Once you have refused the breathalyzer test, the officer will place you under arrest. You will be handcuffed and your Miranda rights read to you. Be sure to clarify that you are exercising your right to remain silent and your right to an attorney.
Once you are placed in the back of the police car, be aware that the officer has now turned the video camera on you and you are being recorded. Act appropriately, while still remaining silent.
A DWI conviction in San Angelo or elsewhere can ruin your life, which is why it is so important to talk to an attorney if you have been arrested for driving while intoxicated. If you are like most people in your situation, you have never been charged with a crime before. You may not realize how serious DWI charge is. You are facing a criminal conviction, which can carry serious fines, loss of your license and even time behind bars. If you are convicted, it will follow you around for years, possibly making it more difficult to find work and advance in your career. Whether you are facing your first DWI charge or you have been convicted before, it is imperative that you contact Brian Raymond immediately.
Our firm has worked with numerous clients accused of DWI. We help them get better results from their cases than they ever would have been able to had they gone through the court procedures alone. While there is a fee for our services, the amount you pay for a good attorney will pale in comparison to the overall cost should you be charged in full by the state of Texas. Our firm can often get your charges reduced – and maybe even dropped – which will result in less severe penalties.
Most people do not realize how inconvenient it can be to have their license revoked until they are actually unable to drive. Keeping your job, taking care of your family, shopping, relaxing – all become much more challenging when you have to request rides everywhere. While there is no guarantee in a DWI case, you can depend on us to fight hard to ensure that you retain your driving privileges.
If you have been arrested for DWI, please contact Brian Raymond Law as soon as you have the opportunity. The sooner we talk to you about your situation, the sooner we can help you resolve it.