DWI Defense Lawyer in Fairfax Virginia
Seeing those blue lights flashing behind you, signaling you to pull over, can be frightening, even if you know you have done nothing wrong. When a police officer in Virginia suspects you have been drinking, it can become even scarier, however, it is important to remember that you have constitutional rights and there are things you should do and things you should not do. Here are some of the worst mistakes drivers make that a DWI defense lawyer Fairfax VA drivers trust sees in the cases he or she handles.
Driver Admits They Have Been Drinking
Even if a driver has only had one or two drinks, they should never admit such to an officer that has pulled them over. This admission can be used against them later on by the prosecutor during trial to cast doubt that the driver was not over the legal limit. However, it is also important not to lie to the officer. If a police officer asks a driver if they have been drinking, the driver should respond by asking the officer if they are being charged with anything. If the officer asks again, the driver should tell the officer they would rather not answer that question.
Driver Submits to a Field Sobriety Test
Field sobriety tests have a high rate of error and also depend heavily on the officer’s judgment and the proper execution of the test. This does not stop the prosecutor from using these test results against the driver to bolster their case. Most drivers do not realize that in most cases, there is no legal consequence for refusing to submit to them. The only exception to that, however, is chemical tests. Because of implied consent laws, any refusal of a chemical test results in automatic suspension of driving privileges. This is why a driver must specify that they are only refusing to submit to a field sobriety test and not chemical testing. A DWI defense lawyer Fairfax VA clients recommend can provide more information on chemical testing refusal.
Driver Does Not Cooperate with the Officer
Drivers are required to provide their license and registration to an officer when asked. Other than refusing to submit to field sobriety tests (which should be done politely), drivers should cooperate fully with the officer, even if they are being placed under arrest. Giving the officer a hard time or resisting arrest can result in additional charges and will also reflect poorly on the driver by the judge and/or jury should the case go to trial.
Agreeing to a Vehicle Search
A driver should never give permission to an officer to search their vehicle. The law says that if an officer does not have probable cause to search, they cannot do so without the driver’s consent. If they do have probable cause, then they do not need consent. If any incriminating evidence is found, an attorney can challenge that probable cause and, in some cases, the court may agree and prohibit the evidence from being used. However, if the driver agreed to the search, there is little chance of the evidence being challenged.
If you have been charged with driving while intoxicated, call May Law, LLP to meet with a DWI defense lawyer in Fairfax VA, and find out how we can help defend you against these charges.