Traffic and Criminal Law In Belleville, IL: Handling DUI’s
Imagine driving home on Friday night after spending time at your favorite Belleville hangout. With only a few more blocks to go, you suddenly see red and blue lights flashing in your rear-view mirror. You have been pulled over before for various minor traffic violations such as speeding or maybe not stopping long enough at a stop sign. The difference this time is that you had a few drinks and the officer might suspect as much. Where a rolling stop is a traffic violation, a DUI in Illinois is a criminal violation, with much more severe consequences.
If a police officer pulls you over on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI), there is a possibility that you could end up in the back of a squad car and on your way to jail. In other words, things could go very differently than what you have previously experienced during a minor traffic stop. If a law enforcement officer stops you for a DUI, take the following actions.
Stop quickly and stay in the car
Like with any other traffic stop, when a police officer pulls you over for a DUI, you should find a safe place to pull over quickly. In addition, stay in your car with your hands visible and on the steering wheel until the officer instructs you otherwise. If you attempt to get out of your car before the officer tells you to, your night could get even worse.
Keep your cool
When the officer approaches your vehicle and begins to speak with you, keep your cool and remain polite. People who get belligerent and curse, shout or try to run from police officers often find themselves in worse trouble. Not only could such behavior cause the officer to use force to arrest you, it might result in additional charges such as resisting arrest.
Do not offer information
While you should be polite to any police officers on the scene, you should also keep in mind that they are not your friends. Do not offer any information that the officer does not ask for. In addition, do not say anything to incriminate yourself. You have every right to invoke the Fifth Amendment which allows you to stay silent about anything that the prosecution can use against you in court.
If you are facing a DUI charge, remember that you have rights and options a criminal law attorney in Belleville, IL would be happy to explain. You can fight back against the charges and possibly avoid a criminal conviction with the right defense.