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What Not to Do in a DUI Stop

 Posted on June 08, 2023 in DUI

Lake County DUI attorneyIf you are pulled over by law enforcement for suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI), it's crucial to handle the situation carefully to protect your rights and minimize potential consequences. The following are mistakes that many people make during the encounter that results in further legal trouble than the initial stop itself.

Admitting Guilt or Providing Incriminating Information

When interacting with law enforcement, it is important to remain calm and respectful, but you must avoid admitting guilt or providing self-incriminating information. You have the right to remain silent and can politely decline to answer any questions that may be used against you in court. It is advisable to provide only necessary information, such as your identification, and refrain from volunteering any additional details that could be used against you. Never admit to an officer you have had any alcohol. You should also not agree to let the officer search your vehicle. 

Agreeing to Field Sobriety Tests

You are under no legal obligation to submit to field sobriety tests. Defense attorneys know that these tests are very unreliable and are entirely up to the police officer’s judgment. There are also other factors that can interfere with a completely sober person’s ability to perform these tests and make it appear that they are under the influence.

While you have the right to refuse the officer’s request to submit to field sobriety tests, refusing chemical testing is another issue. It is important to understand the consequences of doing so. Refusing a chemical breath or blood test is considered a violation of Illinois complied consent law. Under this law, when you accept your driver’s license, you also agree that you will submit to a chemical test if asked by a police officer. Failure to comply usually results in a license suspension issued by the Secretary of State’s office, regardless of the outcome of any DUI criminal charges. If you do refuse, you will likely be arrested for DUI.

For field sobriety tests, it's crucial to understand the potential consequences of doing so, such as license suspension or additional suspicion by law enforcement. It's generally advisable to comply with the officer's lawful requests but avoid volunteering information or performing potentially unreliable field sobriety tests.

Acting Belligerently or Resisting Arrest

Being pulled over for a DUI can be a stressful and emotional experience, but drivers must remain calm, cooperative, and non-confrontational. Acting belligerently, arguing with the officer, or resisting arrest can escalate the situation and potentially result in additional charges or harsher treatment. It is best to comply with the officer's instructions and address any concerns or objections through appropriate legal channels.

Not Seeking Legal Representation

Facing a DUI charge can have severe legal and personal consequences. It is critical to the case outcome to seek legal representation from an experienced Lake County DUI attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney can guide you through the legal process, protect your rights, examine the evidence against you, and develop a strong defense strategy to mitigate the charges or potentially secure a more favorable outcome. Call The Law Offices of Matthew R. Gebhardt, P.C. at 847-239-4703 to schedule a free and confidential consultation.

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