We've all heard the common phrase before: "you have the right to remain silent" and the rest of your rights. But if you've been arrested for DUI, your rights go much deeper than this first phrase. Having awareness of what you're really entitled to can make a significant difference in your case.
Your Miranda rights, including the freedom to stay silent during questioning, are actually quite important to your case. Statements, which you might assume are entirely innocent and far from incriminating, can be taken the opposite way by law enforcement. Exercising your right to remain silent could be the difference between walking away innocent or spending a year in jail.
Our firm is adamant that you should always wait till your attorney is present to make any kind of statement. If an officer is questioning you, politely decline to answer. When your future hangs in the balance, it's worth it to be more safe than sorry.
Should I refuse to take an officer's tests?
This depends on the type of test you're being asked to take and the circumstances surrounding your arrest. If requested to perform a field sobriety test, always decline. Such a test is designed to make you fail and can be used as implicating evidence even if you're not over the legal limit.
The chemical tests, however, are a different story. Florida has an implied consent law, meaning anytime you get behind the wheel, you've already agreed to submit to a blood, breath, or urine test if pulled over. Failing to do so can result in revoked driving privileges and other consequences.
That being said, there may be times when it is in your best interest to refuse. If you know you are well over the legal limit and a chemical test will seal your fate, it may be wiser to refuse and accept the consequences. It is harder to disprove physical evidence from a test in court than it is to disprove a police officer's testimony.
Knowing your rights and being prepared in advance for a DUI stop is well worth it. The last thing you want to do is incriminate yourself and wind up sacrificing the next 5 to 10 years of your life.
If you do get arrested, don't hesitate to contact our Fort Myers DUI defense lawyer. We have over a decade of experience and numerous accolades to back up our aggressive defense strategies. At Calvo & Calvo, Attorneys at Law, your rights come first.