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Watch what you say during a traffic stop

If a New Mexico police officer pulls someone over, the next moments, hours or perhaps, days and weeks of that person’s life could be highly stressful. Many people have a habit of trying to talk their way out of trouble. Trying to talk one’s way out of a traffic violation or other issue may wind up making matters worse.  

If a police officer asks a driver to exit his or her vehicle, it is usually because the officer suspects the person of alcohol or drug impairment. It is true that whatever a person says or does during a traffic stop can be used against him or her if the person winds up facing charges. It is also true that a person does not have to answer any questions without the benefit of legal representation, other than those intended to provide identification or vehicle registration.  

Police listen carefully to everything that is said 

If a police officer asks a driver whether he or she has anything to drink, the driver will want to think carefully before answering. Some drivers mistakenly think it is better to admit that they had one or two beers or other alcohol. Other people invoke their Fifth Amendment right to silence. In either case, if an arrest takes place, everything the arresting officer writes in the report may be relevant to the case.  

Requesting legal representation is a basic constitutional right 

If a New Mexico police officer asks questions that are incriminating, such as “How much alcohol have you had to drink today?” a person can choose not to answer the question and simply request to speak to an attorney. A person also does not have to submit to a field sobriety during a traffic stop. If a DUI arrest takes place, a defendant is better able to make informed decisions and protect his or her rights by seeking legal guidance right from the start.