Riffel &
  Bowlin, P.A.

   Attorneys At Law
DWI DEFENSE 

COMMON MISTAKES 

·         Talking too much. Don't volunteer information or answer questions unless your lawyer is present. For instance, the police certainly will ask you if you have been drinking and how much. Do not lie to them, do not tell them anything. Simply say that you do not wish to answer and wish to remain silent until you can seek legal advice. They will argue with you and you will have to stick to your polite resolve. You must do what you are told, but you do not have to talk. This is very hard to do, the police are very good at making you nervous. Always ask if you are free to go and if they say yes, leave. If not, obey the officer, but be clear that you are not consenting but following orders.

·         Not contacting a lawyer promptly. Call us that night if you can. If not call the next day. Call (870)892-4426 during office hours and (870)892-4923 at night.

·         Not sending in your request for an administrative hearing within seven days. The officer gave you two pink or yellow sheets of paper. The second one is a request for a hearing on your driver's license. You driver's license is not controlled by the court and you have to make a request for a hearing on that aspect of the case. Do so. Do not let the seven days pass even though the hearing may not be fair or adequate.

·         Do not give permission to search and ask to allow you to put in writing that you do not consent. Write your refusal to consent on any form you are given or repeat it on any videotape if they search anyway.

·         Do not plead guilty until and unless you have talked with an attorney who has had training and experience trying these cases. Many of these cases can be won. Most lawyers, including us, do not charge for this.

·         Do not hire an attorney who does not have the experience and training necessary to evaluate and if necessary try these cases. These cases are unique and must be handled by people who practice regularly in this field 

·         Do not sign or do anything until you understand what you are asked to do. This, again, is not easy as the police will insist that you must understand. After you have been graded poorly on the field sobriety tests for something you did not know about, it is too late to say you did not understand. Ask them what they will be looking for and how the tests will be graded.

·         Do not tell them about your medication. They will use this against you. If they ask if you are sick or hurt or taking medication, tell them you will be glad to answer as soon as you have talked with an attorney. They will insist that you are not entitled to talk with your attorney until after their test, so do not give them information until after you are allowed to talk with your attorney. 

·         Do not lie to anybody, including your lawyer. The best way not to lie is to simply say nothing.

·         Do not admit anything. Simply do not discuss the matter.