Any time you are driving on a Nevada street or highway, you may be pulled over by a law enforcement officer. Law enforcement officers are essential to DUI cases. They pull over the alleged drunk drivers, conduct sobriety and breathalyzer tests, and place suspected drunk drivers into custody. Sometimes the stops are based on genuine concerns a police officer has about your driving. At other times, the stops are entirely illegal and unmerited “fishing expeditions.” A police officer can only detain you if he or she has witnessed you breaking the law, or if the officer has probable cause to believe that you are violating the law. If you’re pulled over illegally, a good DUI defense attorney may be able to win you an acquittal or have the charge dismissed entirely. When you are pulled over by a law enforcement officer, be sure to follow these tips to avoid DUI charges:
- When you drive, make sure you know precisely where you placed your license, registration, and proof of insurance. In DUI trials, arresting officers invariably testify that a defendant “fumbled” for the license or registration. “Fumbling” is then considered evidence of intoxication. Think ahead to avoid anything that looks like fumbling.
- Pull over immediately and safely if a police officer signals you to stop. Roll your window down. Put your hands on the wheel where the officer can see them. Before any words are spoken, you’ve indicated compliance, and this can often appease a hard-line police officer.
- Often an officer will ask, “Do you know why you are being pulled over?” You are not required to answer. Admit nothing; just say, “No, officer. Why?” At this point, the police are gathering evidence, so don’t say anything beyond what’s needed to be polite.
- Nevada law regarding breathalyzer testing differs from the law in some other states. Nevada’s implied consent law says that simply by driving, you consent to taking a preliminary breath test, even if you have not been arrested. Comply with the officer. If necessary, a good DUI defense lawyer can challenge the test results later.
Still, if you’re stopped in Nevada and charged with DUI, the prosecutor will be able to count on the complete support of the arresting officer, who probably has years of experience testifying in DUI trials. You’re going to need the help of an experienced Nevada DUI defense attorney. Many attorneys have experience with DUI cases, but you’ll want an attorney who is knowledgeable regarding field sobriety testing procedures, breathalyzer technology, and blood testing technology. DUI cases can quickly become complex when today’s technology is introduced as evidence. You want a good DUI defense lawyer who can discredit test results and explain to juries why the technical evidence against you may be entirely unreliable.
An experienced DUI defense attorney takes the time to comprehensively assess the charges against you, interview eyewitnesses, and compile evidence for your defense. At trial, a good DUI defense lawyer will cross-examine the arresting officers to find any discrepancies in the testimony, any inconsistency in the breath or blood tests, and any other factors which may enhance your defense. If you face DUI charges in Nevada, you should know that penalties can be stiff and consequences can be long-term if you’re convicted, so get in touch with an experienced DUI defense attorney right away.