Consider the following situation. You go out after work with a few friends and have a couple of drinks. You think you are OK to drive home. The cop that pulls you over for swerving thought otherwise. Before you know it you are sitting in a jail cell. You get bailed out and are now facing a serious DUI charge. Right now you have a choice and that is to hire a DUI lawyer or accept the court-appointed one. You would be a lot better off in the long run to hire your own. There are a few reasons why.
The one thing you are in danger of losing is our drivers’ license. An experienced attorney can help you retain it even if it is to drive back and forth to work.
They can also look at your actual arrest a lot more thoroughly. This includes looking unconstitutional doings by the arresting officer. Did they have real probable cause to pull you over? Did they read you our Miranda rights?
You can also count on their guidance to help you in your case. They have most likely been in court for several hundred or even thousand cases and know exactly what to expect. The plea bargain is one of the things that they know about and will know exactly what to ask for. That may include probation or community service which is a lot better than possible jail time. They can also help keep your criminal record clean which is very important for a lot of different reasons by itself.
Facing a DUI charge in court can be made a lot easier by hiring a DUI lawyer. If you find yourself facing a charge make sure you keep the above-mentioned things in mind when it comes time for you to decide if you want to hire one or not.
This section applies to many DUI situations. It is not a substitute for individualized legal advice. Your situation may be different.
If you were drinking and driving in and subsequently stopped by a police officer, you are immediately suspected of DUI or driving under the influence even if you’re not intoxicated. First and foremost, you need to remain calm. As difficult as this can be, it’s important. Staying calm will help you be more aware of what you need to do. You must act courteous and polite. Refer to the officer as “sir,” “mam,” or “officer.” Keep in mind the officer is under stress every time they pull a car over, even yours. Police officers have a dangerous job and approaching an unfamiliar car is no different.
Secondly, have all of your driving information prepared and ready to hand over; that is your drivers’ license, registration, and insurance. Having your info handy ahead of time will benefit you in this situation. When pulled over you’re likely to get nervous and possibly shaky. Fumbling papers look bad. Keep your information in a folder or envelope located in your glove box or center console. Your drivers’ license should be easily accessed in your purse or wallet. Having your information in order will lessen the chance of officers thinking you are inebriated.
After you give your papers to the officer remain calm. You should not talk any more than you have to. The more you speak, the bigger the chance you slur one of your words. Anything you say truly can be used against you. Even everyday chit chat if it provides evidence against you. You will more than likely get the typically question- “Do you know why I pulled you over?” Your answer should almost always be no. This is a trick question designed to get you to admit that you ran a red light, speeding or any number of the infractions you can be pulled over for in most counties. More than likely you will have the officer’s flashlight pointed in your face, as well as his car spot light pointed into your mirror blinding you from another angle. The lights are part of an old interrogation tactic. Reason for it- people are less likely to do something out of line when they can’t see and it helps the officer maintain control. With the lights blinding you the officer can now come within the distance necessary to smell your breath and look within your car without fear of you pulling a gun.
“Have you been drinking?” If you say yes, prepare for the full roadside DUI Test. If you lie and say no, additional charges may be brought against you, and if you show signs of being intoxicated you will more than likely have the full roadside DUI test anyway. Rather than saying no, you should answer, “I’d rather not say.” If the officer asks you to breathe or blow on his or her face, simply say “no, sir/mam.” If the officer asks how much you have had to drink, reply with “I’d rather not say.” Do not say “I’m not sure” or “I forgot.” This only implies to the officer that you are too intoxicated to remember.
“Please step out of the car”
When the officer asks this, you should comply. When you step out of the car, shut and lock the door behind you. The officer will most likely challenge you on this. If the officer asks if you have something to hide, drugs, or weapons in the car, your response should be, “I’d rather not say.” The officer may ask if he or she can take a look inside your car. Your response should be “no, I do not want you to search my car.” At this point, the officer will more than likely threaten to have your car impounded and relay what the daily fee will be for having your car there. If you have alcohol on your breath your car is getting impounded anyway and an impound fee is much less than a DUI fine.
The officer may ask you to open the trunk or one of the doors. If the officer is asking, say no. If the officer is telling you, go ahead and comply.
Now, if the officer starts “telling you” to do other things such as say your ABC’s backward, stand on one leg and count to ten, or walk a straight line, you have the right to refuse. If you refuse, the officer will do anything they can to convince you that you have to. You should refuse each of these tricks otherwise known as “field sobriety tests.” These will only be used against you in court and in no way can they help you. They are designed to benefit the officer and when you fail one or more, the officer places it in the report as additional evidence that you are intoxicated. Tell the officer that you do not want to do any field tests. Do not say anything to the relation of “I couldn’t do this sober.” That can be taken as an admission of intoxication.
At this stage of the process, the officer will attempt a “preliminary breath test” by asking you to blow into a breathalyzer. It is highly recommended to reuse this as well. Just like the field sobriety test, you can refuse it and you should. The “preliminary breath test” is another tool for the officer’s report to justify his probable cause to arrest you for DUI. By refusing you will lose your license for up to a year, but within 10 calendar days of the loss you can contest on a technicality.
Follow these steps, and your chances of being misguided by the police are much less. Police officers are not happy when you don’t help convict yourself. They may try to act like your friend and tell you that they’re trying to help you, they’re not. The officer will threaten you by telling you that you won’t go home that night, you’re going to lose your car by being towed, or a number of other threats. Keep in mind, if you are charged with a DUI, you did everything in your power to help yourself in light of the offense.
Do you know your rights when you are pulled over for a DUI in Utah? What you do or don’t do could have ramifications on your case. Read this article and know your rights.
The police must have a reason to pull you over. Just because they saw you coming out of a bar at 1:30 am is not enough (ironically, if you have the fuzzy dice one your mirror, that is enough to pull you over). Once they pull you over, this is where you must know your rights.
1) Always have your drivers license, proof of insurance and registration in an accessible place. The officer is looking to see if you are “fumbling” about the car, and this will give him or her reasonable suspicion that you have been drinking.
2) Next, the officer will ask, is if you know why you were pulled over. Always answer no to this because anything you say can be used as an admission. Let them tell you why you were pulled over.
3) The officer will probably ask if you have been drinking. Remember, it is not against the law the drink, then drive. It is against the law to drive while drunk. So if you answer yes, this will give the officer more reasonable suspicion that you were drinking. Politely refuse to answer this question. Don’t make the job easier for the officer.
4) Next, the officer will ask you to submit to the Field Sobriety Tests (FST). These tests were developed by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA). The three standardized tests that are recognized in court are:
1-The Walk and turn
2- The one-leg stand
3- The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN).
Also known as the “pen test”.
All other tests are not standardized and cannot be used in court. You do not have to submit to these tests and should refuse them. Most of the time, they are done incorrectly by the officer and are always subjective.
Politely refuse the FST’s.
5) Next, the officer will ask you to submit to the preliminary breath test (PBT). This test is to detect if there is any alcohol on your breath. They are wildly inaccurate in detecting your blood alcohol content (BAC). The officer is using this test to determine if there is probable cause to arrest. Whether you refuse or accept, chances are you will be arrested. But without the PBT, we have a better chance to argue an illegal arrest. If you take the PBT, and it is positive for alcohol, then the ability to argue an illegal arrest diminishes.
6) The officer must advise you of your rights in regards to the PBT test. if they do not, then your rights have been violated. There is no automatic suspension of your license by refusing the PBT. It is only a civil infraction, with no points on your record. If the officer tells you you already consented because you signed your driver’s license, still refuse the test. Your license will not be suspended for refusing the PBT. The Datamaster test will have sanctions, as will be discussed later. One caveat: if you are a commercial driver, refusal of the PBT will result in a misdemeanor charge and license sanctions.
6) If you have refused the tests, then the officer may place you under arrest (remember, if you take the tests you may still be arrested anyway, but you have in fact helped prove the State’s case against you. They will take you to the station to be booked. If they have not read you your Miranda rights, then they cannot ask you any questions, other than standard booking questions. Don’t talk to anyone.
7) The officer will next conduct the Datamaster test. This test is more accurate than the PBT but less accurate than a blood draw. Before they conduct this test, they must-read you’re Chemical Rights Test. If they do not, then the Datamaster test cannot be used in court. You have the right to refuse to submit to the Datamaster test. However, if you do, your driver’s license will be suspended for one year and you will have cost and fines to get your license back. So think long and hard about refusing this test. If you can do without your license for a year, then refuse to take this test.
8) If you request to take the data master test, then the officer will request a warrant to do a blood draw to determine your BAC. In order to do the blood draw, they must have a warrant. They will take you to a hospital (of their choice) to do the draw.
9) If the police to a blood draw, then you have a right to an independent test and should use this right. Always request an independent test. If the police refuse, we can use this refusal in front of the urn to show your rights were not respected.
One of the most important pieces of evidence is the in-car video from the police. This shows how the FST was conducted, the PBT administered and what transpired. Everything will be on video and audio. Most police departments recycle the videos after a certain time, so it is imperative that you contact an attorney right away so this evidence can be preserved. Keep in mind, many times you will not receive a court date for a DUI until months after you are arrested. Don’t wait until you get a court date before hiring an attorney.
DUI Lawyer Free Consultation
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506