You may have just Googled “What to do if you are pulled over.” Without beating around the bush, your first reaction when seeing blue lights in the rearview mirror–even if you are completely innocent–will likely be “OH S*IT!” That’s OK. Know that you have already visited the website of Law Office of Adam D. Brown, and you know that after reading this page you will have a plan. Don’t panic. You have an experienced trial lawyer on your side who has won many Not Guilty jury verdicts on difficult DUI cases. If your case specifically involves driving under the influence, rest assured you have an expert DUI lawyer on your side as well. Call today for a free consultation.
10 Tips For When You are Pulled Over
- Breath and pay attention to your driving. The dashcamera is recording.
- Use your blinkers
- Pull over into a safe well-lit area. If you are on the interstate, feel free to make your way to the next exit–just put your flashers on to indicate you know the cop is behind you.
- If you must pull over on a road, pull over as far as possible, out of the line of traffic.
- Keep your hands visible – on the steering wheel at the 12:00 position is a safe place.
- If you know you do not have any contraband visible, turn on your dome light.
- DO NOT OPEN YOUR DOOR. When doors open immediately, cops put their hands on their pistol. It’s their training. It’s wrong, but their statistics show that traffic stops are the most dangerous thing they do. Don’t open your door.
- Know that the officer may approach you from the passenger side. If they want to build a case for DUI, they will come to the passenger side and stand there, then make it look like they are tapping on your window when they’re actually not. It makes you look slow to respond and out of it. Just watch where they are, and pay attention.
- Before you drive, keep your registration and proof of insurance in an easy-to-access envelope or binder in your glovebox or center console. (another tip, don’t keep your grinder, pipe, scales, cash, flake, baggies, or anything else in that same compartment). Do NOT go reaching for your documents right after you are pulled over. Many officers are trained that that may be someone reaching for a gun. Wait with your hands on top of the steering wheel, and when they request it, you can show the officer how organized you are, and how you don’t fumble things. Good evidence of sobriety.
- Be polite, but be firm. Officers are allowed to gather your documents, your name, date of birth. If they start asking about your itinerary, you can politely refuse. This will likely frustrate them, and they may ask you to get out of the car–see below.
What if I am asked to get out of the car?
You may still be asking “what if I am asked to get out of the car?” Law enforcement is allowed to ask you to get out of your car “for safety reasons.” If you are asked out of the car, go ahead and get out and use it to your benefit. The cameras are recording! If you refuse, you are sadly putting yourself in danger (they will pull you out, forcefully) and you will also likely earn an obstruction charge in the process. When you get out, pay attention to how you open the door and stand up. Do so swiftly. Shut the door. Do not fumble with anything. Don’t shuffle your feet or sway. Many of us have typical at-ease mannerisms that cops say point to intoxication. Beyond getting out of the car, providing your name and documents, if they ask you to do anything else, politely refuse.
Should I refuse to do Field Sobriety Tests?
- If they ask you “do you mind performing sobriety tests.” REFUSE.
- If they tell you “I need to determine if you are safe to drive.” REFUSE
- If they ask “can I just look at your eyes for a minute.” REFUSE
- If they state “you don’t have any trouble walking, do you.” REFUSE
- If they ask “do you mind if I look in your car.” REFUSE
- If they ask you to do anything, REFUSE.
They will be nice and reasonable trying to get you to do or say something incriminating. DO NOT FALL FOR IT. They are paid to wear the badge. They are paid to be suspicious. They are not your friend right now. REFUSE.
Dashcameras, Dash-Cams, Bodycameras, and Body-Cams
You will likely be arrested. The cameras are still rolling. Do not get in the back of the police car and then start cussing or crying. Many borderline cases are lost because of someone losing their mind in the backseat saying “I only drank ___ beers . . . ” or something along those lines. Face it, arrests suck. But DON’T PANIC. You will survive jail. You will bond out. You will call the Law Office of Adam D. Brown, and you will build a plan out of this mess. Just remember the video recorder is running, and it is often your best friend on scene. Be nice to the camera.
How do I refuse a cop? I am too scared to refuse.
Keep in mind, when you refuse, you are allowed to be nice about it. Blame it on lawyers. Blame it on Mom or Dad. Blame it on advice from the Law Office of Adam D. Brown, specifically–many law enforcement officers know him personally. YOU HAVE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS. USE THEM!
- Refuse to talk.
- Refuse to allow them to search your car.
- Refuse to allow them to search your bag or purse.
- Refuse Field Sobriety Tests.
- Refuse Implied Consent.
- Refuse State Breath Tests.
- Refuse State Blood Tests.
- Refuse everything.
A note on race, gender, and sexual orientation
Many of you reading this do not need to be told that there is great injustice in our world. In the deep south, this is true for a number of categories that may describe an individual, including their race, gender, and sexual orientation to describe a few. The problem is real. The problem is disgusting. As infuriating as it may be, your time to make a case against this injustice is not on-scene where the officer has an army’s worth of weapons at their disposal. Remember the cameras are rolling. Survive the interaction on scene as gracefully as possible, be as nice as you can on-scene, and then come see the Law Office of Adam D. Brown. We will sort out any injustice, and we will take your fight to a more even battlefield. If you must know where Adam stands, he absolutely, unequivocally, unabashedly supports every human in being who they are. He has family who is “family.” He has family who happens to be in the current racial minority. Bring your case to Attorney Adam Brown and we will fight the injustice.
Another special note to the LGBTQ+ community. You do not need to hide with Adam. On the one hand, this aspect is wholly irrelevant to most cases. On the other hand, Adam realizes this may be a huge part of who you are. However you chose to share (or not share) your individuality with the Law Office of Adam D. Brown, is absolutely perfect. Just please don’t feel like you have to hide. The Brown Firm will love you just as you are.
A Note on requests for “DUI Checkpoints Near Me Tonight”
DUI Checkpoints are fairly rare these days. That’s because DUI Defense Lawyers have challenged them so many times, it is difficult for the government to prove that the police checkpoints are constitutional. Because of their infrequency, it is now impossible to determine where a checkpoint might pop up.
What if I am stopped at a DUI Checkpoint anyway?
You may still be asking “What if I am stopped at a DUI checkpoint?” Have your license, registration, and proof of insurance ready before you get to the front of the line. Even though you probably don’t like the cops, and are frustrated with the delay, be as cordial as possible. The quicker your interaction, the better. Do not talk to the cops anymore than is absolutely necessary–name, date of birth, and providing the above documents.