Being pulled over can be frightening, but being pulled over and accused of driving drunk is even more nerve-racking. Although many police officers attempt to bully or persuade a driver they believe has been drinking into giving up their rights, you don’t have to. As long as you follow the law, you’ll be protected. Here’s what you need to know about your rights during a DUI stop.
You Have the Right to Answer “No Comment”
Most officers will ask a driver if they have been drinking, which can seem impossible to answer. If you answer “yes,” you’re admitting guilt. If you answer “no,” and have positive breathalyzer test results, it can look like you’re lying. Many people don’t know that they have the right to answer “no comment” on just about any question an officer asks, other than questions regarding identification and insurance information.
You Have the Right to Decline Chemical Testing
If an officer asks you to submit to a breath or blood test, you have the right to decline. Granted, there are automatic license suspension penalties if you refuse to submit to chemical testing. However, in some cases, this could potentially be in your best interest. The consequences of refusing chemical testing may be less than the consequences of being found guilty of drinking and driving, particularly if you have a prior DUI record. An attorney is in the best position to advise you if declining chemical testing would be in your favor.
You Have the Right to Remain Silent
If you are arrested on the suspicion of drinking and driving, you should be read your Miranda rights at that time. One of these rights is “the right to remain silent.” You do not have to answer questions at all, regardless of how intimidating the police are during your interrogation. It is often a good idea to avoid saying anything that could potentially incriminate you, and it’s nearly impossible to tell what that is without legal advice.
You Have the Right to an Attorney
The most important right you have after a DUI arrest is the right to an attorney. It is highly recommended that you take advantage of that right as soon as possible and contact a lawyer immediately. Your lawyer can advise you on what to say or what not to say, and what actions you should take following your arrest in order to avoid criminal action.
If you have been charged with a DUI, or simply want to learn more about your rights, contact the Law Offices of Joshua P. Visco to discuss your legal needs. Call now at (714) 242-1223 or toll free at (855) 4JPV-LAW for a consultation.