Friday, April 6, 2012
Avoid a Minnesota DWI (After You've Been Pulled Over)
I don't think that anyone ever plans one being pulled over by the police for a DWI but if you are one of those types who likes to be prepare for every eventuallity, then here are some helpful tips.
Propbably more than any other criminal offense, law enforcement is often hard at work arresting people for Drunk Driving. Believe you me, the cops are looking to make arrests and in the process often arrest perfectly innocent people or shortcuting investigation to make their stats.
So what should you do to make sure you are not falsely convicted of a Minnesota DWI?
Here are five practical tips you can follow to protect yourself and your rights:
1. Shut up!
The consitution affords you the right to remain silent; so use it. It’s amazing how many people try to reason with the officer and end up talking their way into trouble instead of out of it. Don’t tell them where you are coming from; don’t tell them where you are going. Just give them the requested documents and identification information and stay quiet.
Sure, the police will try to pressure you to talk. They may lie and say things like “Looks like you’ve got something to hide” or “By not cooperating you’re only making things worse for yourself.” Don’t fall for these lies and pressure tactics. Politely answer: “Officer, I choose to use my right to remain silent”.
Remember, “ANYTHING you say, can and will be used against you in a court of law.” But, your silence can never be used in that manner.
2. Don’t Blow
The portable breath testing (PBT) machines that the police use in the field are very inaccurate. Even if you have had nothing to drink, the faulty technology in these machine can still produce an erroneous result. The good news is blowing into them is 100% optional. So, refuse it.
Your refusal to blow into these devices cannot be used against you in the State of Minnesota Granted, failure to do as much might lead to your arrest - but if the officer intended on arresting you --- then this test was going to be your saving grace anyway. (Note: You you do have to submit to the request for a blood, breath or urine sample asked of you back at the cop shop. If you do not, you maybe charged with a DWI Refusal.
3. Don’t Do the Field Sobriety Tests
Sometimes police officers will ask you to step out of the vehicle to perform some physical tests like the Walk and Turn, a one-leg stand and/or follow-my-finger-with-your-eyes test. Like the PBT, these are also completely voluntary and can only cause you trouble. Many sober people have physical conditions that may cause them to fail or they might be clumsy or nervous. This is why you are better off staying put and refusing.
4. As Soon as Possible: Write Things Down
Make sure to take notes so you don’t lose track of important facts. Don’t give it to anyone. Make sure to note the time of stop, where it was made, weather conditions, the name of the officer, names of witnesses and any other possible details. Details win cases and the more you have the stronger your case can be. (Believe it or not - law enforcement can be sloppy. If they fail to dot their I's or cross their T's --- that could be your saving grace.)
5. Get a Lawyer. Fast.At the first opportunity possible call an experienced Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney and get some answers. Many matters in a DWI case are time sensitive and contacting a lawyer early on can greatly increase your chances of a successful defense.
DWI defense is one of the cornerstones of my practice. Please do not confused what I have offered here as a "get out of jail free" card. Rather, I'm relating to you some of my knowledge from having had not only defended many DWI cases - but also the hundreds that I prosecuted. I take Drunk Driving very seriously and encourage everyone to make responsible decisions. I'm not encouraging people to drive while intoxicated. In fact, what I'm trying to do here is encourage innocent people to be aware of their rights and use them to protect themselves against false conviction.
If You need help call the Rolloff Law Office today - (612) 234-1165. Take the next right step.