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4 Quarters With Coach Mark Mandell: What to Ask Your Attorney After a Drunk Driving Charge

Welcome back to another "4 Quarters with Coach Mark Mandell"! Last week we discussed what you need to look for when you're hiring a Criminal Defense Attorney for your Drunk Driving Charge. This week, we will be going more in-depth on that topic with; What You Need to Ask Your Attorney After a Drunk Driving Charge.

Did the Police Have a Right to Pull Me Over?

This is undoubtedly a great question, it's one I ask every client when I first meet with them! To answer it, I always follow up with "Did they have reasonable suspicion to pull you over... or did they have probable cause?" These are two legal standards that any good attorney will know about if you go to them after you're charged with Drunk Driving.

Examples of Reasonable Suspicion and Probable Cause?

A Reasonable Suspicion must be established for a police officer to detain you or initiate a traffic stop. An example of this would be an officer observing a driver commit a traffic violation - running a red light, failure to initiate turn signal, driving without headlights on at night, etc. With these observations and based on their training, the officer can gather a reasonable suspicion that the driver is possibly intoxicated behind the wheel.

Probable Cause is a little different, it must be established for a police officer to obtain a warrant, search your vehicle, or arrest a suspected drunk driver. Referring back to my example of Reasonable Suspicion, if an officer pulls you over and they notice the smell of alcohol on your breath or slurred speech, that officer has probable cause to arrest you for Driving Under the Influence.

If Pulled Over, Should I Take the BAC Test or Refuse?

This is the question I am most frequently asked. What people need to realize is that the opportunity to drive an automobile is a privilege, not a right. So, when you're pulled over by an officer under reasonable suspicion of drunk driving, the courts will consider it as your duty to take that test. To be clear, I am not instructing anyone that is reading this to take the test or not take the test.

If you choose not to take the BAC Test, I can tell you from experience in my cases, within 5-10 minutes the officer will obtain a warrant to draw your blood, and after that they will know whether or not you were in fact intoxicated. Choosing this route will increase the severity of your driving sanctions.

People are very concerned about whether they will lose their license after a Drunk Driving Charge, and that is a difficult answer to give them. There are multiple factors that will account for your punishment and sanctions. If you come talk to me about your Drunk Driving case, we can lay out the entire situation and from experience, we can decide what the most probable outcomes will be for your case.

Parting Bid of Advice for a Client Charged with Drunk Driving?

The best advice I can give someone that has been charged with Drunk Driving is to pick up the phone and call an attorney. In my case, consultations are always free, it is very crucial to connect with an attorney as soon as possible after you've been charged so we can decide the best routes to take, and what potential outcomes there are.

I will never suggest representing yourself in a Drunk Driving matter. To navigate the complex legal system, understand evidence involved, as well as charges and punishments, is very difficult and that is why attorneys are trained for years before they can practice. Don't be negligent, call the winning team at Fausone Bohn's Criminal Defense Department for any Criminal matter you are facing. (248) 380-0000 

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