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Criminal Defense Lawyer in Denver Explains How to Talk to Police if You Are Suspected of DUI

May 17, 2017

If you are pulled over because a police officer suspects you are under the influence of alcohol, the way you act and what you say could determine what happens next. According to John Buckley, a criminal defense lawyer in Denver, it’s important to follow these tips when talking to the police:

Exercise the right to remain silent.


One of your basic legal rights is the right to remain silent, and you should definitely take advantage of this right if you are ever stopped by the police. But, it’s important to let the police officer know that you are invoking your right to remain silent instead of sitting there silently. Clearly state something along the lines of “I invoke my right to remain silent,” or “I am exercising my right to remain silent.” This will protect you from saying anything incriminating that could be taken out of context and used against you later on. Read more about invoking the right to remain silent.

Be polite.


There’s no point in being aggressive or rude to a police officer that is just trying to do his job. In fact, showing aggression may complicate the matter and cause you to be charged with resisting arrest. If you are ever stopped by the police, it’s important to show respect and be as polite as possible. After you have invoked your right to remain silent, you do not need to answer any questions unless they ask you to provide your license and registration and identify yourself. It may help to refer to the police officer as “sir” or “ma’am” so he or she knows that you respect his authority.  Additionally, if an officer has probable cause to believe that you are driving under the influence of alcohol, they will ask you if you wish to participate in chemical testing of your breath or blood.  If you remain silent to this question, you silence will be deemed to be refusal to cooperate with testing.  You do not have the right to consult with a DUI attorney before making this decision.

Do not try to explain.


Some people think that they can talk their way out of an arrest, but you should never make this mistake. Don’t try to explain that you only had one drink or you just live right down the street so you didn’t think it would be a big deal to drive. If a police officer pulled you over because you were driving erratically, don’t try to explain your driving by saying you are tired or you were using a cell phone. It’s strongly recommended that you avoid explaining anything at all to a police officer. This will not help you get off the hook—it will only provide the evidence that law enforcement needs to charge and possible convict you of driving under the influence.

Ask if you can go.


If it seems that a police officer is letting you go without arresting you, it’s best to ask him or her, “Am I free to go?” before driving away. You may have misunderstood the situation, and the last thing you need is to be accused of trying to flee a traffic stop.

If you have been arrested for driving under the influence, contact the Law Office of John Buckley. We work tirelessly to defend your rights and ensure you receive the best legal representation possible. Contact John L. Buckley as soon as possible to schedule a legal consultation regarding your case.