What to Do When Pulled Over on Suspicion of DUI

What to Do When Pulled Over on Suspicion of DUI - Ross Goodman

Since Las Vegas is a place where everyone gets to have a good time, the enjoyment can turn into anxiety when you unexpectedly see red lights in your rear view mirror coming for you while driving. Once you got pulled by the police in Las Vegas, there is a big chance that you may be suspected of drinking while hitting the road.

Here are some helpful tips to help you protect your rights.

Follow the instructions

The initial step is to comply the officer on duty: pull over to the curb in a controlled and safe way. Take note that you have to pull over as fast as you can because if you don’t, there’s a possibility that you will look more suspicious and the officer might get annoyed – it might make things worse so don’t risk it!

Note the time of stop

Knowing the time of stop may be of great help – as many of the law enforcement actions must be performed under time constraints.

Prepare all the vehicle paperwork

One of the first observations made by the police officer is a driver’s ability to show proper documents such as driver’s license, vehicle registration, and insurance. This might be kind of tricky, but wait for the officer to ask for your documents; rather than voluntarily reaching and searching for them. Remember that officers are concerned with their safety as well – there are instances that they may overreact to gestures that they think might lead to a directed threat.

Do not admit

A lot of people find this difficult to do for the following reasons:

  • They don’t want to be dishonest to the police officer.
  • If they cooperate, the officer may overlook such transgressions.

However, this kind of scenario barely happens. Know that you have a constitutional right not to incriminate yourself. Thus, to avoid making things more complicated, answer with statements such as:

“I will accept any citation for [the stated reason for the stop] or other infractions you believe I may have committed and deal with them in court.”

Stay calm

For everyone, seeing emergency lights in the rear-view mirror is very daunting. Nonetheless, you have to do your best to stay focused and perform safe driving actions – and that is by pulling over in a safe and reasonable manner. This also shows that you are reacting properly to their signal.

Decrease your speed right away, pull over somewhere that will not destruct the flow of traffic. If you are having doubts where to stop, remember that it is more important to pull over in most cases – as the officer will instruct you to move in a safer place.

Pursue legal advice

If you have been pulled over for a DUI and the officer did not have reasonable suspicion that you have committed a crime, the evidence against you may not be admissible in court. An experienced DUI lawyer can help you have the evidence thrown out. Additionally, a lawyer can help you form a defense against DUI charges or help you negotiate a plea deal to reduce your sentence.

If you have been pulled over for a DUI but the officer lacks reasonable suspicion, the evidence against you may not be admissible in the court. Seek the help of an experienced DUI defense lawyer – it could help you throw out the evidence. Furthermore, a lawyer could help you negotiate a plea deal to reduce the sentence.

Keep in mind that driving under the influence may hurt someone or yourself; or even damage your car or someone else’s property. You can even lose your license, pay a large amount of fines, lose your job, and worst of all: go to jail.

DUI comes with so many serious penalties, so you need a legal adviser to protect your rights. If you were you incriminated for a DUI in the city, call Attorney Ross Goodman now, the experienced DUI defense attorney in Las Vegas!

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Questions to ask when hiring a DUI Attorney

An attorney is an essential factor in cases. In fact, no case will be put into motion or end with appropriate results without their expertise. In Las Vegas, driving under the influence (DUI) attorneys are in high demand. Just last year, there were 2,394 DUI cases with injuries reported, prompting a need for DUI attorneys.

When looking for an attorney, the defendant or the family want to have the best ones in the field. This matter is entirely subjective. For some, the most expensive and popular ones are the best, but other people find a more obscure but trustworthy attorney based on achievements.

As the justice system is resilient, you should keep up by finding an attorney who will handle your DUI case fast. It can be difficult to find the best one because of the time pressure, so you should look for the fittest one instead.

Finding the right one to ask

Before you run down your burning questions, you should find a DUI attorney to contact first. You can start by seeking referrals from people who have worked with attorneys before; however, there are also other factors that you need to consider to ensure that you’re not just wasting your time.

Don’t get carried away by trend

Make sure you deduce properly and don’t rely on who’s hot on the law scene. Sometimes the glitz can be deceiving.

Set aside issues of costs for a minute

Sometimes, the expensive ones are expensive for a reason. If you can stretch it, take into consideration choosing a high-priced DUI attorneys – it might be just worth it!

Make a list and narrow down

Do a thorough research on the background and achievements of the DUI attorneys before making a list of the most qualified ones. However, don’t go overboard in numbers.

If you have contacted several DUI attorneys and made arrangements for a face-to-face meeting, it’s time to know what questions you should be asking:

Specialization and practice areas

Even if you did your research about a certain attorney, it’s better to hear about him right from his mouth. Not all attorneys can handle a DUI case so make sure you ask about their specialization, the law school, the training they took, the duration of their experience, if DUI is their prime practice area, and how many DUI cases they take a year.

You can also ask about their relationships with attorneys in the prosecutor office. A DUI attorney who knows the inner workings and gets along with prosecutors can help minimize the magnitude of your case.

Assessment of your case

When face-to-face with a DUI attorney, make sure you have all necessary documents regarding the DUI case to ensure that the attorney can properly assess and answer your questions about your chances. Subsequently, ask questions about court processes, factors which will and will not work for you, and what outcome he or she can guarantee you.

How much are we working together?

At times, the DUI attorneys will not be working with you all the time. Ask them how much you can discuss with them or if they will be the ones to defend you on court. You can also ask them if you’ll be handled by a different attorney under their firm and if you can talk to them separately.

Fees

Don’t hesitate to ask about fees as it’s a big deciding factor for both you and the DUI attorney. Ask the attorney about his or her charges. Is it an hourly or a flat fee rate? Likewise, inquire about payment plans, additional legal fees, and modes of payment. You can negotiate to get the best deal.

To make sure you acquire the best DUI lawyer for your case, take your time and let your natural acumen do wonders! One reliable attorney who you can get outstanding help from is Attorney Ross Goodman, a DUI attorney based in Las Vegas! Contact him now and face the case with better confidence!

3 Alcohol Problems that are Prone to DUI

Alcohol problems may lead to unwanted cases such as DUI. Here are 3 of those problems and some DUI cases caused by them.

1.   Binge Drinking

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Binge drinking happens when a person consumes a large amount of alcohol on a single occasion. This uncontrollable scenario usuallys lasts for several hours. Binge drinking is most common on young adults between 18-21 years old. Binge drinking may lead to legal offenses such as drunk driving, rape, gang fight and many more.

Sample DUI case: It was a Sunday evening when a group of 7 teenagers in a Mercedes C320 slammed a Ford F-150 at Freedom Boulevard Aptos. The vehicle was moving at 60 mph and the driver is driving under the influence of alcohol. The incident killed 4 people and 3 were injured. (Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel News)

2.   Alcohol Abuse

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Alcohol abuse is defined as a drinking pattern that follows a series of consequences for over a period of time. Some of such consequences include:

  • Failure to fullfill tasks and reponsibilities at home, school or work
  • Drinking in situations that are physically dangerous such as drunk driving
  • Continued drinking which affects relationships
  • Drinking as a way to de-stress

Sample DUI case: A 57 year old man from Brazos County was sentenced with 25 years of imprisonment after pleading guilty to 9th charge of DUI. The case became grave because he has numerous records of DUI due to alcohol abuse. His first DUI case was in 1978 and the following records were in 1992, 1993, 1996, 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2011. (Source: Chron)

3.   Alcohol Dependence

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There’s a misconception about alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence. A lot of people didn’t know that individuals may drink abusively without being dependent to alcohol. Alcohol dependence is also called alcoholism. It is a progressive disease that includes a strong craving for alcohol. An alcohol dependent person may experience the following:

  • He cannot control how much he drinks
  • He can experience withdrawal symptoms once he stopped drinking
  • He has tried to quit drinking but hasn’t been able to
  • He continuously drinks even if it has already affected his relationship with other people

Sample DUI case: A drunk woman was driving with her 2-year old son. She drove beyond the stop sign and then slammed into a flower delivery van. This incident killed the 72 year old driver of the delivery van. The authorities said the woman took prescription sedative, swigged champagne, and filled a plastic cup with whiskey before the incident. She was sentenced to 9 to 23 months of imprisonment. She has been doing treatments for depression and alcohol addiction. (Source: Philly)

If you are experiencing any of these drinking-related problems, seek help from professionals. These problems have a high risk of leading into a DUI/DWI arrest.

4 Types of Checkpoints You Might Encounter in the US

Attorney Ross Goodman
520 S 4th St,
Las Vegas, NV 89101
Phone: (702) 383 – 5088
Fax: (702) 385 – 5088

Different checkpoints have different purposes but their main goal is to enforce the law and to ensure that citizens would comply with the law. Here are some types of checkpoints that you might encounter in the US.

Sobriety Checkpoints

1This type of checkpoint is where officers usually check if the driver is impaired from drinking or from other substances. This is where DUI arrests usually happen. Usually, you would see sobriety checkpoints during the time when DUI/DWI cases are rampant such as holidays, weekends, events within the area, etc. (Source: AAA DUI Justice Link)

Witness Checkpoints/Information-seeking Checkpoints

5The purpose of this checkpoint is not to catch criminals. Their purpose is to gather information from about recently committed crimes within the area. Policemen usually ask for assistance from the public in identifying vehicles or people that could be involved in a crime or accident. (Source: Criminal Procedure by Joel Samaha)

Driver’s License Checkpoints

6The objective of this checkpoint is to make sure that the driver’s license of the motor vehicle driver is not fake nor expired. It could be unconstitutional if the checkpoint does not have legitimate reason for setting up the checkpoint. It could only be constitutional if the driver’s license checkpoint was conducted in a predesignated manner. (Source: The Police Chief)

Border Patrol Checkpoints

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These checkpoints are usually located in hidden areas. But you could expect them in several parts of northern and southern Border States such as California, Texas, Arizona, Alaska, Michigan, New York, and many others. This type of checkpoint usually requires drivers to verify their residence status or present documents that prove their right to be in the United States. (Source: ACLU)

Just remember, the authorities are allowed to use roadblocks for specific purposes. The legality of a checkpoint depends on its primary purpose. For instance, a general crime control checkpoint is a Fourth Amendment violation because it is not valid.

Defense Strategies Used by DUI Lawyers in Las Vegas

Attorney Ross Goodman
520 S 4th St,
Las Vegas, NV 89101
Phone: (702) 383 – 5088
Fax: (702) 385 – 5088

DUI lawyer

A defense attorney formulates concrete defense strategies for his clients. This is to assure that the DUI case will be dismissed. Here are some of the common defense strategies that DUI/DWI lawyers use:

Involuntary intoxication

There are some situations that the driver gets intoxicated without his knowledge. The driver was given a drink that has more alcohol content than he/she actually thought. The driver (or the defendant) must be able to prove in court that he/she is not liable for his/her own intoxication.

Failure to read Miranda rights to the driver

This can be used in several circumstances such as when the authorities started to interrogate the driver or when the driver was brought into custody even without reading the Miranda rights to him/her.

Other causes of high reading in breathalyzers

There are times that breathalyzers read the alcohol level inaccurately. Some of the reasons of such include acid reflux or heart burn which causes the driver to blow mouth alcohol instead of alveolar air from the lungs. Braces, cavities, dentures and denture adhesives, food impactions, etc. can also cause mouth alcohol. Using of breath spray, cough syrup or cold medicine before breath tests can also affect the results.

Unjustified DUI Stop

A lawyer uses this defense if the arresting officer could not provide a legitimate reason for asking the driver to pull over or reasonable suspicion that the defendant committed a traffic violation caused by alcohol intoxication. If the officer cannot provide justified reasons for the DUI traffic stop, the DUI case will be dismissed.

Other factors that can cause poor sobriety tests results

An officer administers a field sobriety test if a driver is suspected of driving under the influence. There are some instances when the driver struggles in completing the test because of certain conditions like flashing lights due to traffic, cold temperature, uncomfortable outfit or the test area is too dark. Anxiety or nervousness because of the situation could also cause the driver to fail the test.

The symptoms of intoxication have rational explanation

Common signs of intoxication are slurred speech, flushed face or bloodshot eyes. But there are instances when these signs are not caused by alcohol intoxication. Bloodshot eyes can be caused by allergies or fatigue. Flushed face can be caused by embarrassment, nervousness or other types of emotions. Slurred speech could be caused by some health disorders.

DUI Offenses: Common Questions and Answers Part I

Attorney Ross Goodman
520 S 4th St,
Las Vegas, NV 89101
Phone: (702) 383 – 5088
Fax: (702) 385 – 5088

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Here are the common questions about DUI. We also aswered them for your reference.

  1. How does an officer search for drunk drivers on the highways? What does an officer look for?

Listed below are the symptoms that a vehicle is drived by a person who is under the influence of alcohol.  The list is based from the research conducted by the National Highway Traffic Administration:

  • Turning with a wide radius
  • Straddling center of lane marker
  • “Appearing to be drunk”
  • Almost striking an object or vehicle
  • Weaving
  • Driving on other than designated highway
  • Swerving
  • Speed more than 10 mph below limit
  • Stopping without cause in traffic lane
  • Following too closely
  • Drifting
  • Tires on center or lane marker
  • Breaking erratically
  • Driving into opposing or crossing traffic
  • Signaling inconsistent with driving actions
  • Slow response to traffic signals
  • Stopping inappropriately (other than in lane)
  • Turning abruptly or illegaly
  • Accelerating or decelerating rapidly
  • Headlights off

Note: Speeding is not a symptom of DUI and may indicate sobriety because of quicker judgment and reflexes.

  1. If stopped by a police officer and asked if you have been drinking , what is the best possible response, regardless of whether you have been drinking or not?

A polite “I would like to speak with my lawyer before I answer any questions,” is a good reply.  On the other hand, saying that you had one or two beers is not incriminating – it may explain the smell of alcohol in your breath.

  1. What is the officer looking for during the initial detention?

The traditional symptoms of intoxication taught at the police academies are:

  • Flushed face
  • Red, watery, glassy and/or bloodshot eyes
  • Odor of alcohol on breath
  • Slurred speech
  • Fumbling with wallet trying to get license
  • Failure to comprehend the officer’s questions
  • Staggering when exiting vehicle
  • Swaying/instability on feet
  • Leaning on car for support
  • Combative, argumentative, jovial or other “inappropriate” attitude
  • Soiled, rumpled, disorderly clothing
  • Stumbling while walking
  • Disorientation as to time and place
  • Inability to follow directions

 

Are you looking for an experienced drunk driving defense lawyer? Contact Atty. Ross Goodman at (702) 383 – 5088 for a free legal consultation. You can also ask questions at Avvo.

Prescription and Over-the-Counter Drugs That Could Get You a DUI/DWI Charge

Attorney Ross Goodman
520 S 4th St,
Las Vegas, NV 89101
Phone: (702) 383 – 5088
Fax: (702) 385 – 5088


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Illegal drugs and alcohol are not the only substances that can affect drivers. Over-the-counter and prescription drugs can also impair drivers on the road. Here are some types of prescription and over-the-counter drugs that could cause a driver’s impairment:

OVER-THE-COUNTER DRUGS

Antihistamines

This type of drug comes in pills, tablets, capsules or liquids that are used to treat allergies. A driver who took an antihistamine could have slow reaction time while driving any may have impaired coordination.

Analgesics/non-steroidal inflammatory drugs

Pain medications usually don’t have side effects. Some people that have taken ibuprofen in the right dosage do not feel any effects such as dizziness and drowsiness. However, people who are a bit older or people who have taken a higher dosage of analgesics may experience impairment. One option is to ask your physician for a prescribed analgesic that doesn’t have any side effect.

Cough and cold preparations

Decongestants are the most common cure for colds. Most decongestants can cause drowsiness and blurry vision that could affect drivers while driving. Only some people can afford prescription medicines in treating allergies that cause colds. Prescribed medicines for allergic rhinitis are non-sedating, unlike over-the-counter drugs that could cause different effects to the driver.

Anti motility agents

Most anti-diarrheal loperamides have labels that advise people to be cautious while driving or operating machinery after drinking the drug. Although it is just an opioid receptor, loperamide can cause drowsiness and dizziness.

Sleeping aids

Some people suffer from insomnia that is why they turn to sleeping aids. It could have instantaneous effect or may kick in after a while. But its effect and its purpose is to help people sleep. Even after waking up from a sleep, residual effects of sleeping pills may impair drivers.

PRESCRIPTION DRUGS

Anxiety drugs

Medications for anxiety usually reduce brain activity as part of the treatment. The common effects of this type of drug are clumsiness and lack of energy which could be dangerous for people who are driving. Other effects include blurred vision, impaired judgement and confusion.

Antidepressants

Some anti-depressants are sedating. They could have similar effects like that of taking an alcohol.

All of these drugs are legal. Some people really need to take them for treatment but irresponsible use may cause danger on the road. If you are taking medicine, determine or examine yourself if you can really drive smoothly. In case you need a DWI defense attorney, Attorney Ross Goodman can provide you excellent legal services. Just call (702) 383 – 5088 for a free consultation.