Home » Blog » DWI / DUI » Talking with police opens cans of worms – Virginia DUI lawyer

Talking with police opens cans of worms – Virginia DUI lawyer

Virginia DUI lawyer top-rated by key attorney reviewers AVVO & Martindale-Hubbell

Virginia DUI defense attorney for Fairfax County, Arlington, Loudoun, Prince William and Beyond

Call Us: 703-383-1100

Talking with police in Virginia DUI cases- Image of keys, alcohol and handcuffs

Talking with police opens cans of worms – Virginia DUI lawyer

Talking with police can be fatal for suspects, says Virginia DUI lawyer

Talking with police is not required, but a slew of criminal suspects run their mouths with cops, often to their detriment. As a Virginia DUI lawyer,  I have repeatedly seen the gold from criminal defendants’ remaining silent with police and the feces that comes from waiving that right to remain silent.

Virginia DUI attorney covers some common police questions and interrogation techniques

For a Virginia DUI investigation, police often make the following inquiries to suspects they want to get talking:

– Where are you coming from and headed to?

– What beer, wine or alcohol / liquor have you had to drink tonight? Be honest.

– The strong odor of alcohol on your breath and  your behavior show me that you are not being honest about how much you have had to drink. Be honest.

– If you have not had more to drink that you are claiming, you should be good to go with field sobriety tests and the preliminary breath test.

– Because I smell alcohol on you and you have admitted to drinking beer, I would like to conduct some field sobriety tests on you to make sure you are safe to drive home.

– On a scale of one to ten — one being least affected by alcohol — how impaired by alcohol would you say you are now?

Virginia DUI defense lawyer on the ideal responses to police questions

The right answer for any DUI or criminal defendant to give police seeking their talking is silence, other than to say variations of “I am not answering any questions,” “I am not talking,” and “I will not answer any questions without a lawyer present.” Sticking to those three answers helps avoid giving into any temptation to speaking with the police. Talking with the police can be disastrous.

Depending on the governing law and jurisdiction, it might be a crime to refuse to give one’s name when police have reasonable articulable suspicion that the suspect has committed a crime. Hiibel v. Sixth Judicial District Court542 U.S. 177 (2004). However, answering any police interrogation (versus, as an arrestee simply providing such usually harmless booking information as one’s age and contact information) is unwise. 

Fairfax DWI lawyer on possible police responses to suspects’ refusals to be talking with them

When a DUI or other criminal suspect resolutely refuses to speak with police, the cops have limited avenues to get the suspect to talk without violating their right to remain silent under the Fifth Amendment. When a suspect acts wishy-washy about whether to speak with police (for instance “I am not sure if I should speak without a lawyer”), that simply invites police to say things along the lines of “if you simply speak with us, then we can tell your side of story to the prosecutor.”

Virginia DUI lawyer underlines the value of silence with police

The experience of thousands of prior DUI and criminal suspects shows that talking with police without the presence of one’s lawyer is playing with fire.

Virginia DUI lawyer Jonathan L. Katz has successfully defended hundreds of people charged with alcohol and drug-impaired driving in both the misdemeanor and felony contexts. To discuss your case with Jon Katz, please call his staff at 703-383-1100 to schedule a confidential consultation.