Do I Have The Right To A Lawyer Before Taking A Field Sobriety Test Or Breathalyzer?
You do not have the right to talk to a lawyer when police are conducting a DUI investigation. You don’t get to call your lawyer to find out whether or not you have to take the sobriety tests, which tests you should take, or what your rights are. Once under arrest, if the police want to ask you additional questions about what you had to drink, when you stopped drinking, or what you had to eat, and they want to be able to use those answers in court against you, they are required to read you your Miranda Rights. They will still not allow you to talk to a lawyer at that point, typically. They will process you, get you into jail, and turn you over to jail staff before you will be allowed to call a lawyer. By that point, there are no more questions being asked, so it’s kind of too late.
If you are going to drink and drive and take the risk of being arrested, then study up on the laws and talk to lawyers beforehand. Most of them will tell you that you do not have to do the field sobriety tests. You do not have to blow into the preliminary alcohol screening machine. You do not have to answer their questions about what you had to drink, when you stopped drinking, or where you are coming from. All you are really required to do is give them your identifying information. There is no reason to help the officer convict you. It is perfectly legal to tell an officer that you respectfully decline to answer their questions. It’s always important to have a good attitude. Remember that everything is usually being recorded and a jury is going to get to see how you act.
I Suspect The Officer Who Arrested Me Is Outside His Jurisdiction. Does That Invalidate My Arrest?
The California Highway Patrol can arrest anywhere in the state. Local officers can go beyond their jurisdiction in many cases. Cooperate with any officer and if they are out of their jurisdiction, your lawyer can bring a motion to suppress based on a lack of authority to arrest. Politely decline their tests and questions, as you would with any other officer.
Do I Have To Answer The Officer’s Questions Such As How Much I Had To Drink?
You do not have to answer questions from the police, other than providing your identity. You can respectfully decline to answer further questions, which is exactly what would usually be in your best interest.
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