Robert S. Muir, Attorney at Law
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What not to do if pulled over in Pennsylvania

It's a Friday night; you have been out with your friends. You know that there is alcohol on your breath and are driving slowly but steadily, staying in your lane.

You see the police lights flashing, signaling for you to pull over. And, it doesn't even surprise you. You are a straight A student, you never do anything wrong. 'Straight-laced', your friends call you. It just makes sense that the one time that you misbehave you get caught.

Your situation is pretty bad, it's true, but it could be worse. There are certain things that you could do in the moment that could make your situation it worse. For example, if you:

Are rude - it will not help your case to be rude to the officer. No matter how scared you are, or how they address you, answer them with the utmost courtesy.

Refuse to cooperate - cooperating includes pulling over immediately, giving your name and divers license to the police, doing whatever you are asked to do.

Refuse a breathalyzer test - if you are arrested, you must take any breathalyzer test that they decide to give you.

Give them an excuse to search your car - they cannot search your car unless you give them permission to do so. If you have an open container, or joint, it's crucial to not give them an excuse to search your car.

Incriminate yourself - you have the right to not incriminate yourself. If you do get arrested, keep this in mind, and remember that your Miranda rights also give you the right to remain silent.

Don't get a lawyer - trying to navigate a situation like this without a lawyer is not a good idea.

In Pennsylvania, the penalties for underage drinking are a 90 day license suspension for a first offense. Driving under the influence is always carries heavy penalties which vary depending how many offenses you have had previously.Having an experienced lawyer advocate for you from the beginning of your case can only help.

Everyone makes mistakes; it would be a shame if a mistake stayed on your record. Remain hopeful and work to fight your charge.

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