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    CALL ATTORNEY JIM AMBERG AT (248) 681-6255 FOR A FREE CONSULTATION

    TALKING TO COPS

    A question I always get from people is “what do I do if I am stopped by a cop?”  Although each circumstance is different, the bottom line is that you have a right to remain silent, and it is a good idea to use it when you think a police officer is trying to pin you for a crime. 

    WHAT IS BEING “STOPPED” BY THE POLICE?

    With rare exceptions in the world of Minor in Possession of Alcohol cases, almost every case starts out with a police officer stopping the defendant.  The stop can be anything from pulling you over in your car, to stopping you walking down the street.  However it happens, the stop begins the second that a police officer opens their mouth and decides to start asking you questions.

    BEING STOPPED IS A SCARY THING

    Unless you are a career criminal who routinely finds himself in the back of a cop car wearing handcuffs, you likely have never been in a situation where a police officer is stopping you because they think you committed a crime.  These circumstances are very scary and the cops know this.  The police will use your fear to get you to admit to drinking or possession alcohol.  They will make you tell them who else with you was drinking and how much everybody had to drink.  Just remember, we live in America and you have the right to remain silent.  Use your right!!!

    COPS CAN’T JUST STOP YOU FOR NO REASON

    Whether in a car, walking on the street, or at a party, the police cannot stop you without a valid reason.  Michigan Courts have repeated held that a cop has to have some type of reasonable suspicion that crime is afoot prior to stopping somebody.  This rule comes directly from the United States Supreme Court case of Terry v Ohio, 392 US 1, which found that a stop of a person requires reasonable suspicion that crime is afoot.  I cannot repeat this enough, if you are stopped on the street, just walk away.  If the cops won’t let you walk away, then refuse to answer any of their questions, perform any of their tests, and simply say “I want to talk to my lawyer.”

    WHAT IF I’M PULLED OVER WHILE I’M DRIVING

    This poses a trickier problem, as having a driver license in Michigan permits the police to perform a preliminary breath test (PBT) on you.  This is called the Implied Consent law and is summarized by the State of Michigan as follows:

    “all drivers are considered to have given their consent to this test. If you refuse a test, six points will be added to your driver record and your license, or non-resident operating privilege, will be suspended for one year. A suspension of a license, or non-resident operating privilege, is automatic for any refusal to submit to the test. This is a separate consequence from any subsequent convictions resulting from the traffic stop. If you are arrested a second time in seven years and again unreasonably refuse the test, six points will be added to your driver record and your license, or non-resident operating privilege, will be suspended for two years. If you refuse to take the test under the Implied Consent Law or if the test shows your BAC is 0.08 or more, your Michigan driver's license will be destroyed by the officer and you will be issued a 625g paper permit to drive until your case is resolved in court.”

    WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF I REFUSE TO TAKE THE PBT?

    If you refuse the PBT in Michigan after you are pulled over, then the cops will have the option to get a search warrant to obtain a sample of your blood to determine whether you have alcohol in your system.  Although this is becoming more common, I have seen many cases where the officers do not obtain a search warrant and instead make their case simply on their observations.  Thus, it makes sense to refuse the pbt, however you have to be ready for the consequences of losing your license.

    BOTTOM LINE, KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT!!!

    I have represented hundreds of clients who admit to the cops that they have drank, what they drank, when they drank, and how much they drank.  This makes any type of MIP Defense more difficult as it is tough to get around a confession.  I understand that many people in these circumstances feel that being openly honest about everything will get them a break.  This could not be farther from the truth, as I have seen Lake Orion police, Keego Harbor police, Sylvan Lake police, Rochester police, Rochester Hills police, Auburn Hills police, the Oakland County Sheriff, West Bloomfield police, Bloomfield Hills police, Bloomfield Township Police, Troy police, Birmingham police, and many other police forces throughout Oakland County Michigan hammer every person who is honest to them when they are being stopped.  Just remember, I want to talk to my lawyer!

    CALL ATTORNEY JIM AMBERG, MICHIGAN’S MIP WARRIOR, AT (248) 681-6255 FOR A FREE CONSULTATION

    TO SEE JIM’S DETAILED DRUNK DRIVING DEFENSE WEBSITE, PLEASE GO TO WWW.OAKLANDCOUNTYDUILAWYER.COM