When you are being investigated by the police for a potential DUI in Georgia, you need to know what the Georgia laws require you to do and how to protect yourself. If you need a lawyer, call Statesboro DUI attorney Matt Hube as soon as possible. Once you’ve been pulled over by the police, you are not yet under arrest, but you are under their control. It is required that you provide the officer with your license, proof of insurance, and vehicle registration when asked. The officer may ask you whether or not the address on your license is correct. Other than answering whether or not your address is correct, you should not engage in any conversations with the officer. The officer will ask you questions about where you are coming from, where you are going, and any other activities from the evening.
At this point, you are being investigated. The questions may seem harmless, but any answer that you provide could give the police a reason to detain you longer. The longer you are detained by an officer at the site of your stop, the more likely it is that you will be arrested and taken to jail.
The officer that has stopped you is looking “beyond the stop” as he or she has been trained to do. Police are looking for signs that you have been drinking alcohol, signs that you are transporting drugs or drug money, or signs that you are being evasive or hiding something. You are not required by law to answer any of the questions asked to you by the officer when you have been pulled over. If you answer the questions, a judge will most likely find that you voluntarily gave the police information requested of you. This becomes important because you have different rights based on whether you were detained, under arrest, or in a voluntary encounter with a police officer. A judge finding that information was gained in a voluntary encounter is the easiest may for the State prosecution to get evidence introduced at court that could be used against you. That is why Statesboro DUI attorney Matt Hube recommends that you do not answer any questions asked of you by the police. Don’t be rude at any point because you are most likely being recorded from the beginning of the stop until you are released from jail or released from the scene of the stop. If there are charges brought against you, a jury will be able to see any video of you and jurors typically do not favor rudeness from suspects toward police.
It is in your best interest to remain calm and decline politely when asked any questions at the scene of the stop. It is not necessary for you to explain why you don’t want to answer any questions. At any time, simply say “I do not wish to engage in a conversation with you.” The police will most likely ask you why and if you are hiding something. They may try to goad you by saying something relating to you being “guilty” because you don’t want to talk to the police. These are nothing more than conversational tricks that police are trained to employ to illicit information. The police officers are trained to put you on the defensive so that you responses can provide information, such as:
– Your speech patterns (fast/slow, mumbled, etc);
– Whether you can keep and convey a clear train of thought;
– Whether you are overly talkative and trying to over-explain or justify yourself;
– Whether you admit to the reason the officer stopped you in the first place;
– Whether you admit to coming from an area known for criminal activity;
– Whether you admit to coming from an area known for bars
The information that an officer can gather from what you say can give him or her reasonable suspicion to detain you longer or go ahead and arrest you based on any other observations that you may have been drinking alcohol. Once a police officer believes you have been drinking, you will be asked to perform the field sobriety tests and have a very slim chance of avoiding a Georgia DUI charge. You should never agree to perform any field sobriety tests. Your performance on these tests will be measured by an officer who already suspects you are intoxicated. You will likely not convince him otherwise regardless of your test performance.
Now that you know what to do in case you are pulled over in Georgia on suspicion of a DUI, call Statesboro DUI attorney Matt Hube if you have been arrested and find out your options today.