Rights You Have After a DUI Arrest
Sometimes the biggest problems start innocently. You might be at a party, drink a little, decide to drive home, and then you're pulled over. You think you're fine, but you end up failing the breathalyzer test. At this point, you may wonder what your rights are. Should you take the breathalyzer? Can you refuse other tests? Do you get to know all the charges made against you? This blog guide can answer these questions and more.
Right to a Lawyer
First off, you need a DUI lawyer if you are charged with a DUI. As noted on this blog, if you are charged with a crime, you need hire a lawyer, and never simply plead guilty. Pleading guilty gives you no chance. Pleading guilty means you accept the crime. Pleading guilty means you are not even questioning the penalties. A lawyer can question the charges, can lower penalties, and can sometimes even allow you to be found innocent. At the least, you want to lessen the charges, but there are always mistakes, even if you had been drinking, and this can lead to an innocent verdict.
Do you have to take the breathalyzer or other tests?
Yes, you have to take the breathalyzer test by law in all 50 states, and can receive immediate penalties if you deny it. State laws differ on this, but you almost always want to take the breath test. If you are unsure, you might ask the officer the penalties. If you are positive you will fail, you may consider refusing it. However, your license will immediately be suspended. You also have to take blood tests. However, you need not take field sobriety tests where you walk in a line or count the alphabet backwards because there are no laws saying you must. It's up to you at that point.
Right to a Trial
If you are charged with a DUI, you are not found guilty upon failing the breath test. You have the right to a trial. And with a lawyer on hand, you can make a not guilty plea and work to lessen the charges if not win completely.
Right to Question the Charges
You always have the right to question the charges made against you. You can question what the officer did. He or she may have made mistakes in arresting you. You can always question the validity of any sobriety tests. The breathalyzer test has a history of being wrong.
Right to an Appeal
If you are charged with a crime and found guilty, there is always the appeals process. If you lost, and the evidence is against you, you may reconsider. On the other hand, if some of what happened in court can be questioned, if laws were misinterpreted, you may win in appeals court.