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What to Do If Pulled Over for a DUI

What to Do If You Are Pulled Over for Driving While Intoxicated in Rochester, NY

Driving under the influence defense lawyer handling misdemeanor and felony charges

After a driving while intoxicated (DWI) police stop, you can face misdemeanor or even felony charges. But prior to arrest, you do not have the right to a lawyer. Until you can seek skilled legal representation from the Law Office of James L. Riotto, you need to understand what to do — and what not to do — to help protect your rights.

The ways to effectively handle DWI traffic stops

Experienced drunk driving defense attorneys in Rochester and Albany know the best methods for defending their clients. But your handling of a police stop can make a difference to your defense. The following tips can help:

  • Be polite: Police are often aggressive when they believe you may be driving under the influence, but you should respond respectfully at all times, while remaining calm.
  • Avoid admissions of guilt: Do not frustrate police by seeming unresponsive to their questions. Try to appear helpful when talking to police, but do not provide specifics about any alcohol consumption.
  • Do not agree to a search: Police ask for permission to conduct a search only when they have no legal right to do so. No matter what they tell you, do not provide them with access to your vehicle or yourself.
  • Make a mental note of all police statements and actions: When police cross legal lines to obtain evidence, drunk driving defense lawyer James Riotto can often get that evidence thrown out prior to your trial. Make sure you can accurately recount all police activities.

Understand your rights pertaining to testing

During a traffic stop, police may ask your permission prior to conducting two types of tests. The potential consequences for refusing to take these tests include the following:

  • Field sobriety tests: Police often use balance tests and the like as justification to conduct warrantless searches and take other legal actions. But many people simply lack the balance to walk a straight line or successfully perform any field sobriety tests.
  • Blood alcohol tests: For roadside testing, police most commonly use a Breathalyzer to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC). But these portable devices often malfunction and display unreliable results.

The law does not require you to take field sobriety tests, and you should politely refuse to take them. However, the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles explains that refusal to take a blood alcohol test can impose immediate fines and license revocation of a year or more. You can also request a blood test after arrest. Whatever the results, attorney James L. Riotto knows how to refute the evidence in many cases.

Repeat offenders face additional challenges

If police see prior DWI convictions on your record, they may be aggressive with you even if they never mention your driving record during the stop. Remember the importance of treating officers with due respect. Repeat offenders face increasingly severe penalties with each subsequent conviction. As soon as you have the right to an attorney, call DWI defense lawyer James L. Riotto.

Seek immediate support from an experienced Rochester drunk driving defense attorney

As a former state trooper, James L. Riotto understands how DWI traffic stops work — and what actions can help or harm a case. If you face New York DWI charges, the Law Office of James L. Riotto protects your rights and works with you to provide the best possible outcome for your case. The firm provides personalized support, keeping you informed throughout the legal process and promptly answering all questions. Call us at 866-772-2122 or contact us online.

James L. Riotto Attorney Photo
James L. Riotto
Criminal Defense Lawyer

James L. Riotto is an accomplished criminal defense attorney serving clients in New York. With an extensive background in law enforcement and criminal prosecution, his approach to each case is unique and informed by years of experience with the New York criminal justice system. As a graduate from Albany Law School and before going on to start his own practice, James worked at the Albany County District Attorney's Office, where he helped prosecute many DWI offenses. His inside knowledge of the tactics used to gain convictions provides him with a particular advantage when defending against DUI and other criminal charges.

Adam Staier Attorney Photo
Adam Staier
Of Counsel

About Attorney Adam Staier has spent the last seven years practicing criminal defense law throughout upstate New York and the Capital Region. He began his legal career through internships in civil law, indigent legal representation and federal energy law regulation. Finding a passion in criminal law, Mr. Staier held internships handling both prosecution and defense…

  • What to do if pulled over for a DUI


    How to deal with a DWI traffic stop

    How you handle getting pulled over for a DUI/DWI can significantly affect your defense down the road. For instance, declining the officer's request to search your vehicle and avoiding specific answers when asked about any substances you may have consumed could help you when combating DUI/DWI charges in court.
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    I hired Mr. Riotto to represent me in a traffic case, he and all staff were extremely knowledgeable and helpful with any and all questions. The office stayed in constant communication with me throughout the course of the case and we’re always promp...

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    Delivered on everything they said, and got the best outcome for me!

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