Eric Benavides is a Brazoria County DWI Lawyer with over ten years of experience. The following are general suggestions when interacting with police officers if you have been pulled over.
As a Brazoria County DWI Lawyer I represent a lot of people who are charged with Driving While Intoxicated. The following is a list of tips that some people might not consider when they are stopped by the police. Doing these few things could make the difference between a dismissal or a trial, or a plea on a DWI versus a plea on a lesser charge.
You would not believe how far this gets you. Yes, it stinks getting pulled over by the police. No one likes it. And obviously it is much worse if you are drinking. But the worst thing you can do is be disrespectful. Unfortunately, police can put things in their report that might be slight exaggerations. Police could write, “I smelled an extremely strong odor of alcohol coming from Joe’s breath”, or they could write “The smell of alcohol on Joe’s breath was moderate. What do you think an unethical police officer who is upset with you is going to write in his report? They also do an HGN test which stands for Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus. This is the test where they test your eyes with a pen. We must take the officers word on how you perform. Again, making the officer mad isn’t going to do you any favors.
Always Assume You are Being Recorded
Going back to the first one, if you are being a jerk, not only is the police officer going to be upset, but you run the risk that the jury/prosecutor/judge don’t like you either. And remember to be respectful always, not just in the presence of the officer! I can’t tell you how many times I have had clients be super respectful to the officer, only to start cussing up a storm and calling the officer every name in the book when he walks away. There are cameras everywhere! Calling the officer names isn’t going to help you! Also, do not make statements which you are in the police car that hurt you. “I should have called an uber”, “I can’t believe I took that many shots”, “I couldn’t have done those tests sober”, etc. Its only to talk to yourself, just don’t do it out loud!
Ask for a Lawyer and Refuse Any Tests that You are Not Comfortable Doing
At the end of the day, once they take you out of the car you are probably going to jail. Why give them more evidence. The tests aren’t designed for you to prove you are sober, they are designed to make you look drunk. If an officer was investigating you for anything else you would say, “I am not comfortable talking to you without a lawyer”. So why is a DWI investigation any different. Just be respectful, ask for your lawyer, and enjoy your trip to jail knowing that at the minimum you didn’t give them any evidence to use against you.
As an experienced Brazoria County DWI Lawyer these are 3 basic tips that I feel will help anyone if they are ever pulled over for a DWI investigation. Its never fun walking into the Brazoria County Courthouse in Angleton, but if you are arrested make sure that you start protecting yourself from the minute you are accused.
Eric Benavides is a Houston Criminal Defense Attorney. He is the founder of Benavides Law Group. He is a graduate of the prestigious Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Trial College and is a proven trial lawyer. He has been named a Texas Super Lawyers Rising Star and has been recognized as one of the best criminal lawyers in Houston by Houstonia and H-Texas magazines.