The average person comes into contact with law enforcement by way of a traffic violation. That simple exposure
can lead to some major problems. Here are a few things to keep in mind next time you are pulled over:
must identify yourself. In Mississippi you will need to also have proof of insurance.
- If you are asked if you
know why you were pulled over your answer can be used in court as an admission of guilt. You will rarely talk your way
out of a ticket by admitting guilt.
- You do not have to consent to a search of your car. If you consent to a
search you have waived your rights against illegal search and seizure. If the police have a reason to search they do
not need to ask permission. The same is true of your home.
- Do not admit to drinking ANY alcohol. In Mississippi
telling the officer you have been drinking along with the officers testimony that you smelled like alcohol, had red eyes and
slurred your speech is enough for a DUI conviction.
- You do not have to take a field sobriety test - you will be threatened
with arrest if you don't take it, but you will fail if you do take it, get arrested for DUI and those test results will
be used against you at trial.
- You do not have to take a Breathalyzer test. If you refuse the test your license
will be suspended for 90 days on a 1st offense but there will not be any test results to be used at trial.
it comes to a felony charge, hire the best criminal attorney you can afford.
Some things to keep in mind:
police do not have to read you your Miranda rights UNTIL you are in a custodial environment.
- The police CAN and most
likely will lie to to you.
- If you are a witness the police will likely come to you to ask questions to
make you feel at ease. If you are a suspect you will be invited to come down to the police station to answer a few questions.
This is to place you in an environment the police can control. You will probably not get to leave.
- The coffee,
cokes and snacks are not given to be polite - it is an interrogation tactic. When you need to go to the bathroom you
will be told you cannot leave until after you talk to them - i.e. confess.
- You have the right to be silent - use it
have the right to have an attorney there - use it