Receiving a traffic ticket and fighting it will cost you significant loss of valuable time. Without knowledge of what a good “deal” is, you can receive unnecessary points on your license and pay hefty fines, surcharges, driver’s responsibility fees and/or surcharges.
Hiring an attorney will first save you the trouble of appearing in court. A good attorney will strive to obtain the best possible outcome of your matter. If your circumstances prevent an acceptable result from occurring, the attorney can take the matter to trial and often prevail, or negotiate an acceptable plea offer on the eve of a trial.
Cell phones, texting, and other new legislation such as failure to yield to an emergency vehicle, can lead to unexpected police stops. Add this. Suppose you and your significant other shared drinks at dinner and you are stopped. The best action to take is to say nothing and do not answer questions. You could be convicting yourself of some offense or crime without even knowing.
How do you do this under the obvious stress that will be placed upon you? Keep your hands on the wheel and retrieve your license and registration only after the Officer has asked you to. To all other questions, simply and politely respond, “I do not answer any questions without first talking to an attorney.” You must continue to repeat that you would like to speak to an attorney before answering any questions or taking any tests.
Your failure to answering questions cannot be the legal cause of an arrest. You are never required to provide evidence against yourself and your right to do so is protected by the Fifth Amendment. If you are asked to get out of the car, do so. If you are asked to complete roadside Field Sobriety Test state that you do not take any tests without talking to an attorney. There is a difference between a Field Sobriety Test and a Breath Test. Generally, you should never refuse a Breath Test because New York State law states that a refusal to submit to a Breath Test can result in an immediate revocation of your driver license.
It is important to remain firm with the Officer in asserting your right to counsel. Courts have ruled that it is acceptable for law enforcement officials to lie to a citizen when conducting an investigation. When a police officer asks you if have been drinking, make no mistake, a criminal investigation is under way, no matter how nice his or her tone of voice is. Once you assert your legal rights most police officers will become very assertive, even mean, in trying to intimidate a citizen to forfeit his or her legal rights; and often provide the evidence necessary to convict themselves. Do not make the mistake of falling for this ruse! Call an attorney.
Officer: Can I search your car?
Motorist: Not without a warrant, no.
Officer: Why won’t you let me search your car? What have you done wrong?
Motorist: I do not want to leave myself vulnerable for someone to plant contraband in my car and then arrest me for something I did not even know about. If you have any legitimate reason to search my car, get a warrant or, let me call an attorney, and if he or she says it is ok then I will let you search my car with him or her present.
It must be stressed that you should always be polite and respectful at all times during any interaction with law enforcement officials. Officers are doing their jobs and the overwhelming majority are courteous and professional during police/citizen encounters.