A DWI traffic stop is a “make or break” moment. It is your hope that the traffic stop will go smoothly, but there is no way of knowing how everything will unfold. And that is especially true if you are under the influence of alcohol.
There are a variety of mistakes that could harm you at a DWI traffic stop. Just the same, you could easily slip up if you are arrested and charged with a serious crime.
Five common mistakes
Here are the common mistakes you need to avoid both during a traffic stop and after:
- Providing too much information: You’re under no obligation to speak to the officer who is questioning you. It’s best if you stick to the basics, avoiding anything that could make you look or sound guilty. For example, if the officer asks where you’re coming from, “the bar” likely isn’t the right answer.
- Refusing to take a breath test: It is almost always in your best interest to take the breath test. If you refuse the test, your attorney cannot argue whether the machine was correctly calibrated, or the arresting officer was properly trained and had a valid certificate.
- Resisting arrest: You have reason to believe you’re being mistreated, so you begin to fight back. However, this is never going to end well for you. Furthermore, it could lead to additional criminal charges. Not to mention the fact that it also puts your health and well-being at risk.
- Representing yourself in municipal court: It’s easy to believe that you can do this, but it’s likely a disaster waiting to happen. This mistake could result in serious penalties, including but not limited to a large fine and the mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device.
- Hiring the wrong attorney: When you hire an attorney for a DWI case, knowledge and experience matter. The right attorney can get you the best possible plea deal. Conversely, the wrong decision could cost you money with nothing to show for it.
These are the types of mistakes you must avoid at a DWI traffic stop and afterward, should you be charged with a crime.
When you know what to do, what to avoid and how to protect your legal rights, it is easier to take on these unfortunate circumstances with confidence. Your goal is to make all the right moves so you can put this chapter of your life in the past.