Rule No. 1: Never under any circumstance consent to a search. NEVER. Do not consent to a search of your car. Do not consent to a search of your home. Do not consent to a search of your friend’s apartment. Do not consent to a search of your person. Do not consent even if the police tell you they have a warrant. Do not consent. EVER.
Rule No. 2: Never physically resist a police officer. Physical resistance is always illegal (unless the police are using excessive force against you, then you may offer “reasonable force” in self defense.) Remember: You SAY “I do not consent” – you DO nothing to resist.
Rule No. 3: When you are a suspect in a criminal case, NEVER give any statements to the police, and never sign anything. Do not give written statements to the police. Do not give verbal statements to the police. Do not talk to them at all, except to say “My lawyer has told me not to answer any questions.”
Anything you say to the police can be used against you. If you have been pulled over for a suspected DWI, a video recording will catch everything you say and do, so don’t say or do anything stupid! That would make you look drunk!
When the police ask you a question, you ask to see your attorney. The sole exception: You must provide the police with your legal name, date of birth, and address for identification purposes. It is illegal for you to fail to do so upon request.
Rule No. 4: If you have been drinking alcoholic beverages, avoid the police if at all possible. If a police officer smells alcohol on your breath, you are very likely to be arrested for DWI (if you are driving) or public intoxication (if you are not driving). If you must have contact with a police officer when you have been drinking, try to keep the contact as short as possible and try not to let the officer smell your breath. Never under any circumstances argue with a police officer if you have been drinking. That’s a guaranteed trip to jail.
Rule No. 5: Do not be an smart ass to police officers. Be polite. Police have far too much power in the streets for you and I to smart off to them. The streets are their “home field”. If you need to say something derogatory about the police, wait until we get them into the courthouse – that’s our “home court”.
Rule No. 6: Don’t agree to take any sobriety tests, especially if you aren’t going to pass them! Taking a test you know you will fail is just handing the police evidence that will be used to convict you. Does that sound like a good idea?
If the officer asks you to take a sobriety test, ask them which tests you are required to take. The correct answer should be “None.”
Rule No. 7: Remember this: You may never be able to convince a police officer that you are sober, but you only have to convince a jury! Everything you do is being recorded and can be replayed in court. If you refuse to take sobriety tests, don’t say anything stupid, and don’t answer the officer’s questions.That might not make them happy, but that doesn’t matter. All that matters is that you avoid a DWI conviction.
Rule No. 8: Avoiding a serious conviction, such as a DWI, is much more important than avoiding a driver’s license suspension, or some other minor consequence. If you refuse to take a sobriety test, you may be arrested or have to fight a driver’s license suspension. These consequences are minor and temporary—a DWI is FOREVER!
Rule No. 9: In some cases, a police officer won’t even arrest you after you refuse to take the sobriety tests! I’ve seen several cases where the officer just asks you to call a cab or have a friend pick you up. If you appear sober and there’s no sobriety tests that can be used to incriminate, the officer knows you have a strong chance of beating your case, and sometimes that’s enough to send you home without an arrest!
Rule No. 10: Stay in control at all times! You are most likely being recorded throughout your entire ordeal with the police, even when you are riding in the back of the squad car. Stay awake and alert, sit up straight, and don’t be a cry baby! I’ve defended many clients (men and women) who cried, and I’ve lost almost all of those cases. A jury is going decide your fate based on how you look and what you say and do. No cursing, ranting, raving, or begging! Stay composed and in control.