So, the red and blue lights finally caught up to you! We can all find ourselves in a compromising situation, and DUIs are pretty standard. It doesn’t matter if you are innocent or guilty; the cops only react to what they observe and their training. It isn’t personal, so remember, staying calm is crucial in this situation. Call a lawyer and let them handle the rest.

So, You’ve Been Arrested!

Being arrested is no picnic. Just being detained for whatever reason can ruin your day. You may miss work, and it can be embarrassing. Perhaps you have had too much to drink and shouldn’t have gotten behind the wheel. The police are correct to pull you over. But how it all plays out depends on what you do. Or, more to the point, what you don’t do. It isn’t the end of the world. A lawyer will be your strongest support in this situation but there are some things not to do.

Don’t Argue with an Officer

In most cases, the police are professional and do their job well. When they pull you over, it isn’t personal. Instead, it is because they have observed something they deem to be illegal. When they approach and ask you for your license, remain calm. Above all, remember, DO NOT argue with a police officer. It’s important to be cautious and not say anything that could be used against you. Cops will inform you of your right to remain silent. That is pretty solid advice in this case!

Don’t Admit to Anything

You will be asked if you have been drinking when a police officer pulls you over for a suspected DUI. Under no circumstances answer this question. Admission of wrongdoing will go against you in court. Whether you realize it or not, an admission of guilt will hurt your case. You do not have to answer the officer’s questions when asked about drinking. The police won’t like this. But you have the right to remain silent as they go about their business. So keep as quiet as possible.

Don’t Engage More than Needed

You have the right to remain silent when arrested for a DUI. But any DUI lawyer will tell you that it is best to engage on a minimal level. This means only answering when necessary, such as to confirm your name. After a DUI arrest, it is best to engage the police in the following manner:

  • Stay respectful and courteous, but only answer yes and no to basic questions.
  • Look straight ahead after being pulled over and provide your documents.
  • Face downwards at the ground if an officer removes you from the car.
  • Provide officers with your name only and refuse to answer anything else.
  • Politely request that you be able to call an attorney; and call one!

You will need to engage with the police when arrested for a DUI. But keep this to a minimum. Answer yes and no questions only and never volunteer information. The more you speak, the greater the chance of incriminating yourself. Stay calm and polite while waiting for a DUI lawyer.

Don’t Take the Field Sobriety Test

Most people don’t know this, but taking the roadside sobriety test is optional. The police cannot force you to take this test.

Even if you are sober, this test can be hard to pass. When asked to take it, politely decline and request that you call your attorney. The field sobriety test isn’t a scientifically accurate measure of intoxication and is passed or failed based on opinion. So it could go against you if taken, even if you are not drunk!

Don’t Be a Roadside Lawyer

Unless you actually are a lawyer, there is no point trying to argue a legal case with the cops. Almost all cops are legally trained and will beat you when trying to play Quincy at the roadside! But even if you are a lawyer, you need a trained DUI lawyer to help you out of this situation. When trying to dispute your charges alone, there’s a good chance you will incriminate yourself. So, keep quiet and be polite to the officers. In the meantime, wait for your lawyer to arrive.

Call Trusted Richmond, VA Criminal Defense & Traffic Lawyers for Your DUI Case

You will need a trusted and experienced DUI lawyer when you are arrested for this offense. Whether you are guilty or innocent, one wrong move can make the situation worse. Please get in touch with us here at BernsteinHough, P.C. if you find yourself in this very sticky situation.

Contact us to get started.

No one wants to experience being arrested for a DUI. Whether you had been drinking or not, a DUI conviction could have a significant impact on your life. It may affect your ability to drive, which can have knock-on effects on your career and personal life. When you’re facing a DUI charge, an experienced attorney can help you argue your case. With the right legal advice and support, you might be able to get the charges dropped or reduced. You could also ensure that if you are found guilty, the consequences are as reasonable as possible.


A good lawyer will help you mount the best defense, but it’s helpful if you know what sort of approaches they should be taking. Here are some of the things you can do and defenses you can raise.

Document What You Can

When you appear in court, it’s crucial to have a clear idea of what happened and what you’re going to say. Documenting everything you remember from the scene and what happened when you were arrested will help you out later. Write down the details you remember so that you and your lawyer can go over them. This will help you get your story straight in court and can assist your lawyer with identifying the best defenses for you. There might also be witnesses from the scene who can provide their own helpful account of events.

Show You Were Stopped without Good Reason

Being arrested for a DUI usually starts with being stopped by the police. But they need to have a good reason for stopping you. If you can show that the stop is valid, it helps to make the rest of the case against you look less legitimate. Procedures need to be followed to make your arrest and prosecution legal. The officer must have a reasonable suspicion that you were under the influence or driving dangerously to stop you. If they didn’t, everything that happened after doesn’t really matter. It can get the charges dropped completely.

Question the Arrest

There are also other ways you might question your arrest and how it occurred. As well as needing a valid reason to stop you, the officer who makes your arrest needs probable cause to do so. The officer needs to have gathered sufficient evidence to suspect you of DUI, and that evidence can be required to be pretty robust. For example, just being able to smell alcohol or seeing an empty drink bottle or can is likely to not be enough. On top of this, they need to follow the right procedures to arrest you. If they didn’t read you your Miranda rights at the time, the arrest wasn’t valid.

Challenge Field Sobriety Test Results

One of the tests police officers may use to determine if you were driving under the influence is the field sobriety test. They might carry out these tests before using a breathalyzer to assess your current state. It can include things like asking you to walk in a straight line or recite the alphabet backward. However, these tests aren’t necessarily very reliable indicators of whether someone is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Your lawyer can argue that your performance in these tests may have been affected by a number of things, ranging from your natural balance and coordination to nerves or fatigue.

Question BAC Results

A breathalyzer test might be seen as a more reliable way to test if someone is under the influence of alcohol. However, there are still things that can go wrong. The results aren’t always accurate and can be challenged in a range of circumstances. For example, if there is alcohol currently in your mouth, this can cause an inaccurate reading. You might have had a sip of an alcoholic drink but you’re not over the blood alcohol limit. Or perhaps you recently used a mouth spray or took a medication that contains alcohol.

Raise the Observation Period

To ensure test results are accurate and establish cause for arrest, police officers should observe the drive for a period. In Virginia, they should be observed for at least 20 minutes before a breathalyzer test is carried out. If this didn’t happen, it can be raised as a defense in court.


When you have been charged with a DUI offense, the best defense is paramount. Make sure you have an experienced and knowledgeable DUI or reckless driving lawyer to help you. Schedule a free consultation with our law firm to help dismiss your Virginia DUI charge.

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