Mt. Juliet and Lebanon TN
The holiday season is a wonderful time to celebrate with friends and loved ones. On many occasions, alcoholic beverages accompany these gatherings. Unfortunately, that increases your chance of a DUI during the holidays. In Tennessee, people are frequently wrongfully charged with DUI. Many people don’t realize the significance of hiring an experienced DUI attorney when facing this charge. A DUI charge doesn’t always result in a conviction, especially if you follow the below tips from our Nashville area DUI attorneys at the Law Office of Yancy Belcher.
- SAFELY AND SLOWLY PULL OVER
Remember that if an officer decides to pull you over for DUI, they have most likely observed evidence of “bad” driving. This is usually caused by swerving out of your lane, driving past a stoplight driving slower than the flow of traffic, or speeding. In either case, our Hermitage DUI attorneys advise drivers to pull over safely by not stopping abruptly or making other erratic movements.
- BE POLITE AND KIND
It should go without saying, but don’t be rude or disrespectful to law enforcement. To begin with, if you are rude, the officer is more likely to wish for your conviction and may even inform the State Attorney’s Office that they disagree with a lighter sentence. Our DUI attorneys in Mt. Juliet explain that this could jeopardize your chances of receiving a better sentence or a charge reduction, such as Reckless Driving. Second, being rude can be interpreted as belligerent, which is common in people under the influence of alcohol. Most Tennessee DUI officers have audio/video-capable dash cams. This video will most likely be shown to a jury; you don’t want them to see you being rude to law enforcement because it could lead to a conviction.
- THE LESS YOU SAY, THE BETTER
If an officer asks you how much you decided to drink tonight, you will almost certainly be arrested. You can simply say, “I’m sorry, officer, but I’m going to decline to answer that question.” In fact, any question from the officer that could lead you to confess or admit to something criminal or help a criminal case against you should be politely declined. Our Nashville DUI attorneys explain that the most important thing to remember is that the less you say, the better. When you’re nervous because of the flashing lights, police presence, and uncertainty about what’s going to happen next, it’s easy to ramble. Because you will most likely be on audio/video dash cam, what you say will be recorded. If you slur your words, the officer will notice and bring it to the attention of the jury.
- AVOID FIELD SOBRIETY EXERCISES
These “exercises” serve only to gather additional evidence against you. They are also highly subjective because the officer determines whether you passed these exercises. However, it’s important to note that the prosecution will argue to the jury that you refused these exercises due to “consciousness of guilt.” Our DUI lawyers in Hermitage warn drivers that these exercises can be very difficult, and you don’t want to fall because it will make you appear intoxicated. Furthermore, officers benefit more because the “exercises” typically require you to count or say the alphabet. If you have slurred speech, it will be noted again.
- REFUSE TO USE THE BREATHALYZER
Voluntarily taking a breathalyzer test is more evidence that the officers gather against you. Furthermore, the machine can provide a BAL (Blood Alcohol Level) that the prosecutor can use to decide how to charge you. If you’re over.15 BAL, you’re charged with an enhanced offense with statutory conditions that neither the judge nor the prosecutor can change. Our Mt. Juliet DUI lawyers explain that similarly to the field sobriety test, the prosecution may be allowed to argue “consciousness of guilt” to a jury for refusing to take the breathalyzer test.
Nashville area, including Hermitage and Mt. Juliet, TN
Spending time with your family and friends is the most important thing throughout the holiday season, but spending time in jail for a DUI can severely hinder your holiday spirit. So, by following the above tips, you could protect yourself from an unlawful DUI charge. If you find yourself in front of blue lights at a traffic stop this holiday season, contact our Nashville area DUI lawyers at The Law Office of Nancy Belcher for a consultation. Please call our office at (615) 773-2889 or contact us online today.