What Do I Do If I Am Pulled Over for DWI in Kansas City, Missouri?
If you are driving down the road and you see flashing blue lights in your rearview mirror, it is a frightening feeling. Even when one of our experienced DWI attorneys is pulled over, they admit they have an uneasy feeling that comes from being nervous. Everyone gets pulled over at some point, including attorneys so you need to know what to do when that time comes for you. If you just had dinner and enjoyed a glass of wine with it, being pulled over can even be more frightening. Your heart might jump up in your throat. You are wondering what to do next. Your thoughts are racing and wondering if you went over the legal limit or if you are going to be arrested. You are nervous about what is going to happen next.
Our skilled DWI attorneys are often asked questions about what they should do if they are pulled over by a police officer. These questions are asked by friends, family, employees, and even acquaintances. The leading question remains, “What do I do if I have been drinking and I am pulled over by police?” The DWI law is very complicated and can be confusing, so you can expect 100 different answers from 100 different attorneys. With our team at Hollingshead & Dudley having handled thousands of cases pertaining to DWI in Kansas City, Missouri during the last few years, you can count on us to provide you with the best advice as an answer for this commonly asked question.
If you see flashing lights in your rearview mirror and an officer attempting to pull you over, you should find a safe place to pull over. Then when you pull over you should pull as far off the road as possible without pulling into the grass. Make sure you use your signal to show the officer that you are pulling over. After you have pulled over, make sure you put your vehicle in park. The majority of cell phones are ready to record audio. If you don’t already have a phone app downloaded so you can record audio, be sure to download one right away! You should set your phone to record then put it back in your pocket. You should not leave your cell phone in your vehicle because it could result in you missing out on your conversations with the police officer. This conversation could have significant importance regarding your case.
You should probably ensure that your phone is in locked mode, but you want to be certain the app will continue to record even when your phone is locked. Make certain that you have your phone locked using a personal passcode. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that law enforcement officers can legally search through any cell phones that are unlocked. While we would like to avoid saying it, there is a real possibility that the law enforcement officer wouldn’t at all be hesitant about turning off your phone’s recording app or even deleting any recording that you have made of the conversations up to that point.
After your phone has started recording, you are required to get out your driver license and your auto insurance card. To speed up the process, put a copy of your auto insurance card in an easily accessible location, such as your center console. Police officers have testified in the past that a driver encountered “difficulty locating his [or her] license or insurance card.” When an officer does this, he or she might be testifying incorrectly that behavior showed that you were indeed intoxicated. In order to take additional care and to be prepared, make sure you have your license and insurance card readily accessible in your vehicle. Have your important documents easily accessible to hand to the officer. The power of adrenaline shouldn’t be ignored or taken lightly. Even experienced DWI attorneys will also admit they are very nervous after having been pulled over after consuming alcohol. The officer most likely will approach your vehicle’s passenger side for his or her safety. You should have your window down by the time the officer approaches the car.
The officer might immediately ask, “Have you been drinking tonight?” You can’t talk yourself out of a DWI. After midnight, law officers usually have DWI arrests as their main priority. If an officer has pulled you over and realizes the scent of alcohol is on your breath, there is relatively no doubt you will be charged and taken to jail. With that in mind, your objective should be to help your lawyer in establishing a strong defense even while there isn’t an attorney with you to protect you. Respond to any questions with, “I am not answering any questions until my lawyer is present.”
You need to understand that police officers have undergone extensive training and they have been prepared in various interrogation tactics, particularly if they encounter a potential drunk driver. Be aware that the law officer will criticize your refusal to respond to any of their questions. Officers do this because they know that any statements the driver makes during that time can prove to be their best evidence. Maintain your composure and don’t disagree with the officer. Don’t let the officer bait you, and don’t try to argue that you are innocent. This is not the time to proclaim your innocence, you will have that opportunity later. The police officer should now ask you to present your license and insurance. By now, you should already have it ready, so you can give it to the policeman easily.
Before the officer returns to your vehicle, your license will be run through the system. This is done to ensure the officer’s safety by confirming you aren’t a danger or threat to the officer and it enables the officer to see if you have had a DWI before. If you have had a DWI, although it is unfair, you will be arrested and charged with another DWI. If you are arrested, you call your skilled Kansas City, Missouri DWI law firm Hollingshead & Dudley. We have experience in representing those who have faced DWI charges. Our DWI attorneys will fight for you and work to prove your innocence.