Happy New Year from Cincinnati! This is a big week for celebrating and law enforcement is watching and waiting for any traffic infractions to pull you over. Remember, even if you only have a couple drinks, you can be arrested for a DUI. As a criminal defense attorney, I have seen people arrested after one drink only.
If you are pulled over it is completely normal to be confused and nervous not to mention stressed and unsure of what the law in Ohio is. You are under their control, but you are not under arrest. The only thing you are required to do in Ohio is provide your driver’s license, proof of insurance and your vehicle registration. That is it.
You will be questioned. This is what law enforcement does to try to get you to incriminate yourself. Remain silent, except to ask to call a criminal defense attorney. Even though the line of questioning seems friendly, know for sure that it is not. Asking where you have been, having a fun night, where you are going, etc, are all part of a preliminary investigation. Don’t answer. If you do, later on in court, a judge will assume you entered into conversation voluntarily with police. All of your rights are affected in different ways depending on if you are being detained, being arrested or conversing on your own free will.
Beware. Law enforcement are trained to look for evidence of other illegal activity beyond the reason that you have been stopped. They are looking for signs of drinking, sings you may have drugs on you and signs that you could be hiding something. They have many tricks to get you to incriminate yourself. Questions are asked in a friendly way but they are looking for slurred speech, an odor of alcohol, clear train of thought (which can be hard when you are stressed out over being pulled over) overly talkative, admitting to why you were pulled over, admitting coming from a party, admitting to one or two drinks, or coming from a bar. All of this gives law enforcement reasonable suspicion and may even try to administer a field sobriety test, which you should also refuse.
The Bottom Line: If you are pulled over, your smartest and best move would be to politely refuse answering any questions and call me; I am always available to assist you. Call my mobile. 513-260-2099