Charleston, WV- A traffic stop can be annoying and stressful even if it’s only for a minor traffic violation, but it gets a lot worse if the officer who stopped suspects you might be intoxicated. Some people are aware that whatever you say and the actions you take while speaking to an officer will affect your future. That is why our DUI attorneys in West Virginia think it is important you understand how the stop is going to go.
When they approach your car, police are looking for wrongdoing; that is why they pulled you over in the first place. While speaking with you, the officer is observing your behavior and looking for the tell-tale physical signs of intoxication. Those signs include slurred speech, blood-shot eyes and unsteadiness and if noticed, give police all the probable cause they need to ask you to submit to field sobriety tests breathalyzer test or chemical test.
This brings up a dilemma for the person who was stopped: Do I submit to sobriety tests? Or, do I refuse? There is no general consensus among DUI attorneys on this matter. On one hand, refusing field sobriety tests eliminate much of the evidence that could be used against you. But, on the other hand, you will lose your license immediately—for a year at least—and could face additional charges on top of your DUI charges. You could also spend the night in jail anyway because an officer can just charge you with a refusal on top of your DUI.
West Virginia is one of the many states that have no refusal laws, which means by virtue of getting a driver’s license in the state, you agree to comply with a police officer’s demands. Technically, you don’t have to agree to sobriety tests, but not doing do has legal consequences.
So, if you decide to comply with an officer, you will be put you through a number of physical and mental tests aimed at gauging your whether you are intoxicated and to what degree. If you do perform poorly on field sobriety tests the next step is a breathalyzer or chemical test. If your blood alcohol content is .08 or above, you will charged with DUI and taken to jail. And that it is just the beginning of your legal troubles.
Once you get out of jail, your first step should be to contact a DUI lawyer near your West Virginia location. You need to be proactive and get someone to evaluate your case immediately. If you act quickly, you might be able avoid some of the more immediate consequences of a DUI charge. They will also help you avoid a DUI conviction and the host of long-term consequences such a charge carries.
USAttorneys can connect you with a DUI lawyer in West Virginia who will evaluate your case and determine the best way to approach your case. Our team of attorneys strive to give you the best defense possible and are willing to work hard on your behalf.