Information From a DWI Lawyer on What is a Legal or an Illegal Search

As a local DWI lawyer, we get a lot of questions from people wanting to know what to do if they are pulled over after drinking and driving.  We recommend that you don’t drive and call a cab instead.  If, however, you do drive after having a few beers it is important to know what to do when you are pulled over.The first thing to remember is to stay calm.  Do not say anything that you don’t have to and if they ask a question be as direct and short as possible with your answers.  Many people make the mistake of saying things that sound suspicious or make them appear more intoxicated than they may actually be.  Plus if you act nervous you will look guilty, and the officer may want to conduct a search.  Remember that if they ask to search your vehicle you have the right to say no and ask them to get a warrant.  While they are doing so, call an attorney.The police have been known to search cars and people without consent.  The overreach of police officers has been extensive and in Texas, some people have even been subjected to cavity searches while an officer looks for drugs or some other substance.  In a famous case last year, the incident was caught on video.  Remember that a DWI is driving while intoxicated so this can apply to drugs as well.  If you feel like your rights are being violated ask the officer to stop and take you to jail for further processing.  Once there you can call a DWI lawyer for assistance.Another way that officers and prosecutors were gathering evidence was confiscating and going through a persons’ cell phone.  This was particularly detrimental because if they found a text talking about how much you had to drink or photos they could try to use it as evidence.  In some cases, going through the cell phone led to additional and more serious charges being brought against the defendant.  The Supreme Court ruled that this was illegal without a search warrant so if the police ask for your cell phone do not give it to them without one.Remember that if you are pulled over because the officer suspects you have been drinking and driving, you still have rights.  You have the right to not be searched illegally, and you have the right to due process.  It is your job to enforce those rights by not giving the police more authority than they have.  While you may escalate the situation by not allowing a search, it is still important to prevent one because the police have been known to find evidence that confirms their suspicions even when a person is innocent.As a DWI lawyer, our job is to protect the rights of our clients and mount a strong defense in court.  A DWI conviction is a criminal conviction, so it is not something to be taken lightly.  If you have been arrested, give us a call right away.

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