What do I do after I am finished having a good time and the blue lights come on?
You find yourself driving after having had an alcoholic beverage (or twelve). Yes, you should have called a cab. However, you live just down the street and your fine to drive right? Right up to the point where you see the blue lights in your mirror.
Now, what do I do?
Smile, you’re on Candid Camera! You are likely being filmed by the in-car video camera to capture your driving pattern. Let’s assume you have the odor of alcohol, blood shot and watery eyes, and slurred speech. It doesn’t matter you only had one or two drinks, the arrest report will state it nonetheless.
What will the officer do when he comes to the car?
He will continue gathering evidence by interaction. He will ask for your documents and where you are coming from, have you had anything to drink, and if so how much. Remember, you have the right to remain SILENT,USE IT! Remember, you can not talk your way out of the situation you find yourself in. Hand him your documents. Exit the car if he requests. Do not answer any questions other than what may be found on your documents. The officer is trying to get a speech pattern (slurring). Also, he is likely wearing a body microphone. Whatever is being said is being recorded.
What should I DO?
Give him your documents and be polite, but firm when you refuse to answer any questions without your lawyer present.
What should I NOT do?
Don’t be rude, he will be setting your bond later. You can’t talk your way out of it because, you were stopped for speeding, weaving, or some other traffic infraction and you have alcohol on your breath. Face it, you are going to jail. Next, he will “ask” you to perform “some exercises just to see if you are ok to drive.” DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, EVER DO THEM, PERIOD. This includes the “follow the pen with your eyes only” (HGN) test. They are Field Sobriety Tests and you will not pass them. They are used as evidence against you. They will be filmed. The results will not look good.
Next, you will be searched, cuffed, and taken to county jail The in-car video that captured the stop and the encounter with you will be flipped around to record you in the back seat. Remember the officer is wearing a body mike and it will be recording anything you say. So, you say nothing.
What happens at the jail?
You will be taken to one of the Intoxylyzer 8000 rooms where you will be on camera again. This is where you will formally be read Implied Consent and asked to give a breath test. Later your rights under Miranda v. Arizona will be read to you. Do not answer any questions. Period.
If you have never refused a breath test before, then refuse this one. It is more evidence against you. If you have refused before, and refuse a second time, then you can be charged with a first degree misdemeanor. Again, when they read you Miranda, you have the right to remain silent, USE IT. Sensing a pattern here?
When the officer is finished with his paperwork you will be booked and given the opportunity to bond out. There are a list of bail bonds by the phone in alphabetical order. They usually charge about 10% of the bond you were given. Or, you can put the whole amount up. If you are convicted or enter a plea that money will go toward fines and court costs. When you bond out, call Jack Wilkins at (850) 429-9757 and I will walk you through the rest of it.