Conroe Criminal Defense Lawyer - Top 5 things not to say if you're arrested for DWI.
Conroe Criminal Defense Lawyer and Conroe DWI Lawyer Brian Foley - Board Certified in Criminal Law
Here are the top 5 things not to say if you get arrested for DWI. Today's list is a comprehensive set from beginning to end in a DWI investigation. And here we go . . .
5. MY HOUSE IS LIKE RIGHT THERE OFFICER I'M ALMOST HOME.
"I just live right down the street officer I'm almost home." This is like admitting, yes I know that I'm intoxicated but I almost made it home without an issue. I have seen this statement countless times in my career as both a prosecutor and a defense attorney and when someone is arrested in Conroe, The Woodlands, Texas and Montgomery County and they say this phrase it is a red flag for the prosecutor that the person knows they are intoxicated. It is something about being so close to the finish line and realizing its not going to happen for you. Just don't say this. He isn't going to let you finish the job, the officer will just use this phrase against you as a sign you are intoxicated. Even if a wrongly accused person might say the same thing.
4. CAN I CALL SOMEONE TO GIVE ME A RIDE?
"Can I call someone to give me a ride?" It is 2022. Police officers are almost NEVER going to allow you to just call a friend to get you a ride. This happens sometimes if you are being investigated for public intoxication but not for DWI. There is too much political pressure brought on police agencies by organizations like mother's against drunk driving (MADD) and others. Police are much more likely to arrest you and let the court process dismiss a close case than to just let you get a ride home. If the officer is inclined to let you do this anyway because the officer is from a more rural jurisdiction or some other reason, he will make that decision on his own and not because you ask for it. Again this asking to allow you to get someone to give you a ride implies that you believe you are not able to drive safely because you are intoxicated. The jury doesn't have to find that you are above a .08 to find that you are legally intoxicated if they believe beyond a reasonable doubt that you have lost the normal use of your mental or physical faculties. Statements like this can be used by a prosecutor as a window into your thoughts about your own mental and physical abilities at the time of arrest.
3. HEY MAN I PAY YOUR SALARY AREN'T YOU SUPPOSED TO PROTECT AND SERVE? ISN'T THERE A REAL CRIME YOU COULD BE INVESTIGATING?
"Hey man I pay your salary aren't you supposed to protect and serve? Isn't there a real crime you could be investigating?" Again the less you say the better is generally good advice. But this kind of statement is just generalized complaining and if we have to try the case to a jury statements like this make the job of convincing the jury that you should be found not guilty more difficult. It can also make a prosecutor who was on the fence about dismissing your case feel like taking it to trial just to teach you a lesson. There is a saying in criminal justice that you can beat the rap but you can't beat the ride. The rap refers to a special type of criminal history report and the saying means that you can avoid a conviction on your record but they will still arrest you the night of the offense and take you for a ride down to the jail and through the court system. These kinds of statements don't help anything. It is better to respectfully decline to answer questions until you have had a chance to speak to your lawyer.
2. Question: HOW MUCH HAVE YOU HAD TO DRINK? Answer: ENOUGH
Do I even have to write a blog post about this. Yes I have heard countless times someone answer the question of how much have you had to drink with the defeated admission, "Enough." Even if you feel like you are clearly intoxicated and there will be no way of concealing or beating the case at that moment. Do not make admissions like this to the police. It may be that the officer can't articulate that he smelled alcohol at this point. Perhaps a traffic stop was about to be concluded and there would be no reasonable suspicion or probable cause to extend the detention making a further search and arrest illegal. But if you offer this kind of sarcastic and incriminating statement you might have flushed those options down the drain.
1. I'M SORRY I SHOULDN'T HAVE BEEN DRIVING
"I'm sorry." I know how you feel. Good people who make honest mistakes often start out their interactions with police by saying I'm sorry. But you are not an expert in driving while intoxicated cases. You do not know your blood alcohol level and if you are sorry just for hitting the curb like the last 12 people to pass through this turn did then saying, "I'm sorry" might be the difference between a prosecutor convincing a jury that you are guilty of DWI or not. Nobody gets a benefit from prosecutors for saying they were sorry to the officer on scene. Now I don't think you should lie to police or pretend like you're happy about being arrested or pulled over, but you merely need to say that you would like to speak to an attorney before answering any questions any time the police talk with you. In a DWI investigation the officer has not yet arrested you and will tell you that you don't have the right to speak with an attorney. Politely refusing to participate or answer further questions will probably get you arrested. But at that point the police and prosecutors will have as little evidence as is possible to try to convict you later. Of course this article is for entertainment and educational purposes and every case is different. You should seek the advice of an attorney if you have specific questions about how to handle a DWI investigation.
And that's the top five things not to say if you're arrested for DWI. Thanks for reading. For more information check out our Youtube series on the drity little secret of criminal law.
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