Daniel Dodson, Attorney at Law, Jefferson City, Mo., wants you to know your legal rights. "Especially if you're stopped for DWI, call me at (573)636-9200, as soon as the lights come on, at any hour. The best course of action can vary, even by which side of the river you're on. If you can't reach me, remember not to talk. Read the DWI section on this site for more information."

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS

Your rights, when accused of wrongdoing, or when facing any potential legal conflict, are always the same, and are very simple:

IT IS NOT ADVISABLE TO DISCUSS ANY POTENTIAL LEGAL CONFLICT WITH ANYONE BEFORE CONSULTING QUALIFIED AND TRUSTED LEGAL COUNSEL

In criminal law, it's called “taking the fifth,” or exercising your right to remain silent. But the same principle applies in other cases. If you've been injured, the insurance people want to get you to say things that limit their liability, for instance.

Police officers and others in law enforcement tend to assume guilt, and to take any accusations as true, and they'll promise leniency or anything else to get you to talk.  WHEN ACCUSED, NEVER TALK TO ANYONE WITHOUT TALKING TO AN EXPERIENCED CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER FIRST – NO MATTER WHAT THEY PROMISE YOU.

You are welcome to call (573)636-9200, any time, 24-hours, if you are stopped or confronted by law enforcement with an accusation, but if you can't reach a lawyer, SIMPLY EXERCISE YOUR RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT.

If they didn't take your statement according to the rules, it might get thrown out (suppressed). If you've already talked, don't say any more before talking to your lawyer.

AND DON'T CONSENT TO ANY SEARCH OF YOUR HOME, CAR, OR ANYTHING ELSE. They might search anyway, but if they don't do it properly, good legal work could get the evidence suppressed. And if you don't make a statement connecting yourself to evidence, they will have a harder time proving a connection.

If you are faced with a legal emergency, call at any hour to:

(573)636-9200 IT IS NOT ADVISABLE TO DISCUSS ANY POTENTIAL LEGAL CONFLICT WITH ANYONE BEFORE CONSULTING QUALIFIED AND TRUSTED LEGAL COUNSEL.