You consider yourself a law-abiding person; you have certainly never broken the law on purpose. So, when police officers stop your car and accuse you of DUI, you may not know the right way to act.
People unfamiliar with the criminal system may have a disadvantage when suddenly facing charges. Avoiding some common errors people make during and after their DUI stops can help your attorney build a stronger defense for you.
Failing to comply when mandatory
During a stop, police officers may direct you to perform certain actions. While some are mandatory, you can politely refuse others without breaking the law. Colorado’s consent law obliges you to take a chemical test analyzing blood or breath. Refusing may result in an additional charge you may be convicted of even after dismissal of the accompanying DUI charges. You must also present your license and registration and step out of the car if directed to do so. You must also sign the ticket they give you.
Providing non-required information or consent
You may refuse to take a field sobriety test, to answer questions and to consent to a vehicle search. Take care to phrase refusals clearly, politely and non-confrontationally. Officers may sometimes proceed to search your car even if you state you do not consent to any searches. Do not attempt to argue with them or physically stop them; leave it to your lawyer to challenge any evidence obtained through such a search.
Trying to talk your way out of charges
One of the most common and damaging mistakes people make is arguing or offering excessive information. This happens because they are nervous, believe officers just need them to explain the situation or they simply feel the instinct to comply with these authority figures to the fullest extent. However, saying too much will probably not stop them from filing charges and is likely to be used against you later.
A DUI conviction can entail harsh penalties and significantly affect your life. Contacting an experienced defense attorney as soon as possible is among the most effective steps you can take to protect your rights.