Posts in category DUI / Drunk Driving / DWI

Exercise Your Legal RIGHTS when Stopped for a possible DUI

If you’re being stopped for a possible DUI (driving under the influence) it is super important that you exercise your legal rights! When you exercise your legal rights, you help protect yourself. If you don’t exercise your DUI rights, you will likely make your situation worse.

American Flag used in possible DUI blogExercise Your Legal Rights when Stopped for a possible DUI

  1. Exercise your right to an attorney. You have the right to either a private DUI attorney or a public defender. When being questioned by law enforcement, politely request to speak to your DUI attorney. If the officer doesn’t respond, ask again. The officer must give you the opportunity to contact an attorney, it is your legal right.
  2. Exercise your right to remain silent. A person has the right to remain silent both before and after a DUI arrest. It is very important to minimize talking to only requesting to speak with an attorney and that you would like to remain silent for the reminder of the questioning and arrest. If you don’t exercise your right to remain silent you will likely talk yourself into a conviction and into further legal trouble.
  3. Exercise your right to refuse search of any type of personal belongings, home, or vehicle. You have the right to be free from any unreasonable searches. Do not give the police permission to search your vehicle or personal items. The only exception is when the police reasonably believe you may be carrying a dangerous instrument, they can search for their safety.
  4. Refuse to perform the DUI field sobriety tests. These tests are voluntary tests, meaning you make the decision to take the test or not. You will not be in any legal trouble if you refuse to perform the DUI field sobriety tests. They are very difficult tests and designed for you to fail. Do not take the test.
  5. Refuse to take the DUI portable breath test. The DUI portable breath test is also a voluntary test, do not take the test. If you are arrested for DUI, you will be taken to the police station. While at the station be cooperative and take the DUI breath test or blood test, unless advised not to do so by your DUI attorney.

Now that you know some of your legal rights while being investigated for DUI, use them! And remember whenever stopped for a possible DUI ask to speak to your attorney immediately and exercise your right to remain silent!

What To Do when You See Flashing Red Lights in your Rear View Mirror

Police car with Flashing Red LightsIt’s the holiday season which is filled with joy and  sparkling Christmas lights.  It’s also a time of year that you may see flashing red lights in your rear view mirror…  the flashing red lights of a police officer’s car.  Patrol units always increase during the holidays and if you get pulled over it can be quite the holiday buzz kill!

Don’t worry, we have some tips for you that you could use any time of the year when you are faced with flashing red lights in your rear view mirror. By following our tips you should have a better experience with the police and perhaps avoid a ticket or an arrest.

What to Do when you See A Patrol Car Following You

Don’t start to panic if you see a patrol car start to follow you, this doesn’t always mean you did something wrong.  Perhaps you just caught their attention by doing something such as; playing loud music, your car is noisy, eating while driving, grooming while driving, out of state license plates, etc.  If you are being followed remember to:

  1. Stay calm and drive safely.  Drive at the speed limit and obey all traffic laws.
  2. Avoid looking in the rear view mirror constantly.  Keep your eyes on the road and occasionally check to see if the officer is still following.  If you keep looking in the rear view mirror, the police may become even more suspicious.
  3. Don’t try to lose the police.  Taking the quickest turn onto the next road or exiting the freeway immediately may trigger the police to pull you over.  Simply remain calm and continue to drive to your destination.

What To Do when you See Flashing Red Lights in Your Rear View Mirror

It’s a bummer when you see the emergency lights of a patrol car activated and you realize those flashing red lights are for you.  This is no time to panic!  It’s a time to remain calm and present yourself in the best possible manner to the police.  Hopefully you can avoid a ticket or an arrest by following these tips:

  1. Pull over immediately in a safe area.  If the officer does not like where you are pulling over they will tell you with hand signals or over their PA system.
  2. Park your car and set the parking break.  Turn your engine off if the officer tells you to do so.
  3. Roll down your car window. Turn on the interior light if the officer tells you to do so.
  4. Place your hands on top of the car’s steering wheel and do not reach for your license and registration until the officer requests for them.
  5. All passengers should remain calm and keep their hands in plain view.  Additionally, they should make occasional eye contact with the police, if you don’t look, police become suspicious.
  6. Don’t talk too much to the police.  Follow directions, be respectful, and answers questions but keep it short.  Nobody talks their way out of a situation, so don’t try.  Don’t try to become a police officer’s friend, they are working not trying to make friends.
  7. If the police think you may be DUI (driving under the influence) ask to call your DUI attorney immediately.  And do not take the voluntary field sobriety tests or the DUI portable breathalyzer test.

Santa and reindeer for flashing red light blog

 

Hopefully by following these tips your holiday season will remain Merry and Bright with or without flashing red lights!

Drive safe and Happy Holidays from the DUI attorneys, criminal defense attorneys, and staff at David O Defense!

 

 

 

 

 

 

DUI – The DOL Hearing Process

Let’s talk about the DOL (Department of Licensing) hearing that is part of dealing with a DUI charge in Washington State.  It’s very important to understand what a DOL hearing is and what action you need to take when you receive a DOL hearing notice in the mail.

Understanding a DOL hearing

Businessman & PhoneWhen arrested and charged with a DUI in Washington State an individual will have to deal with two separate components;

  1. The criminal charge of DUI which is heard in court in front of a judge, and
  2. An administrative hearing with the DOL, which is conducted over the phone with an administrative hearing officer.

The Difference between a DOL Hearing and a DUI Court Case

A DOL hearing and a DUI court case are two different components and they are handled differently.  A DOL hearing is an administrative hearing and not a criminal charge.  It is handled over the phone with a hearing officer.  A hearing officer can ask you questions over the phone, so you may want to hire a DUI criminal defense attorney to handle it for you.  If you have been assigned a public defender for your DUI case, they will NOT handle your hearing with the DOL.  An individual can choose to represent themselves, but it is not recommended because of the technical nature of the hearing.

A hearing with the DOL is completely separate from a DUI court case and they have no impact on each other.   For example, if your criminal case was dismissed in court, you would still have to proceed forth with your DOL hearing and the possible consequences.  The same is true for the other way around, if you win your DOL hearing, this would not affect your criminal DUI case in any way.

20 Days to send in the Form to Request a DOL Hearing

Generally when an individual is arrested for DUI the officer will provide a hearing request form to that person prior to getting released from the station or prior to being taken into custody to jail .  The form MUST be filled out entirely and returned to the DOL no later than 20 days from the date you were arrested for DUI.  Don’t know when you were arrested, check your ticket, it will show the date.  If you fail to request for a hearing within the 20 day deadline or send in your form after the 20 days than your driving privileges will be suspended and notice of the suspension will be mailed to the driver.

What Happens at the DOL Hearing

You will be assigned a date and time on which the hearing will occur.  The individual may want to be present or may not depending on the facts and circumstances.  However, if the driver is present for the hearing it subjects that person to questioning by the hearing officer.

The Department of Licensing will not make a decision on the date of your hearing.  Generally, the Department of Licensing will take approximately 2-4 weeks to write up the decision and have it mailed to all interested parties.  If the decision is in your favor than you will maintain your driving privileges with the DOL.  If the decision is not in your favor than you will lose your licenses for the amount of days indicated on the notice.

 

Still have questions about the DOL hearing process, or have you been charged with a DUI?  Give us a call and we would be happy to help, 206-459-6392.

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