What To Expect After Being Pulled Over At a DUI Stop in DC

When a police officer pulls you over for a suspected DUI, this can be intimidating and frustrating, especially if you are unsure of what will take place. There are certain procedures and actions that a person can expect during a DUI stop. If you have been charged with a DUI, please do not hesitate to call and schedule a consultation with a DC DUI lawyer today.

Interacting With Police

It is very common for a law enforcement officer to ask if you are aware of why you were pulled over. In addition, an officer will ask for your license, registration, and insurance. If there was a specific reason why they pulled you over, for example, if your brake lights are out or you have an expired license plate, they may ask if you were aware of this issue.

If and when you are unaware of an infraction then you can just say that you are unaware; however, if you are aware, you should not admit that as you are not required to make an admission. This admission can prevent you from being fully able to defend yourself in court.

When an officer asks whether you are aware of the speed you were going, it is better not to respond yes or no. An affirmative response is an admission, while a negative response implies that you are not paying attention. A logical response would be to ask what speed the officer believes you were going. There is nothing wrong with asking an officer about your speed.

Additionally, you should keep your hands in plain view, as to not cause the officer to get concerned. You should definitely not get out of your vehicle until and unless an officer tells you to do so. This will make an officer extremely nervous and he will immediately direct you to return to your vehicle.

What Happens After an Officer Takes Your License and Registration

After an officer takes your license and registration, they will take a quick look at these documents, and return to their vehicle to run your information on their computer. All officers have computers in their cars that allow them to see if you have any outstanding warrants, meaning an arrest warrant or a bench warrant. In addition, they will see whether your license, registration, and insurance are accurate, and confirm that the vehicle is not listed as stolen.

It will take the officer a couple of minutes to confirm all of the necessary information, and then the officer will usually return with either a ticket, a warning written on the ticket, or inform you of the issue and whether you need to fix it or not do it again. When a person violates the law, the officer has the discretion to either give you a ticket for it or let you go with a warning. However, if the officer believes that you are driving under the influence, they may ask you to exit the vehicle and have you perform certain tasks.

Questions to Ask the Officer

There are certain questions that you should ask the officer depending on the circumstance. If the officer informs you that you did something wrong and you disagree, you can politely ask where and when the infraction took place. This may provide you with information that can help you argue the ticket later. Depending on the officer’s personality, you may want to have a discussion with the officer about your belief that the officer was wrong. If the officer does not tell you why he was pulled over, you can ask.

What to Do After Receiving a Ticket

When a person has issued a ticket, many DC defense attorneys would recommend confirming the ticket when the police officer hands it to you to verify the accuracy of your personal information and information about your vehicle, as well as the location where the infraction allegedly occurred. Additionally, you will immediately want to know the allegation against you.

Additional Information Regarding Traffic Stops

If there happens to be a warrant for your arrest, your car is listed as stolen, or your license and registration is expired, an officer may want to check you and your vehicle out. In addition, the officer may look through your vehicle windows to see if you have any contraband.

If there happens to be anything illegal and in plain view, you should expect them to have you exit the car so they can conduct a further investigation. When officers are looking for contraband, they are usually looking for guns and drugs. If you happen to have contraband, you can expect the officer to arrest you and search both you and your vehicle.