Your Rights At a Montgomery County DUI Stop
Being pulled over and accused of driving under the influence can be a scary and intimidating experience. With that said, however, it is important that you are familiar with your rights and do not do anything to incriminate yourself and make the situation worse.
Below, a Montgomery County DUI lawyer discusses your rights at a DUI stop and your rights immediately following an arrests. To discuss your case in more detail, call and schedule a consultation today.
Do You Need To Consent To A Search of Your Vehicle During A Traffic Stop?
You do not need to consent to a search of your vehicle. The officer cannot search your vehicle without consent or without probable cause. There are some exceptions to that general rule. The big one for DUI cases is going to be a search incident to arrest. If you are arrested, then the officer has the right to search your vehicle incident to that arrest. So if they arrest you for suspicion of DUI then they may conduct a search of the vehicle after you’re arrested. Until you’re arrested however, they either need to have independent probable cause or they need to have your consent, and there’s no reason to give that consent in almost any circumstance.
Speaking To Your Lawyer During a DUI Stop
You can ask to speak to your lawyer prior to submitting to a breath test. So that’s after the stop and after the arrest. You have the right to consult with counsel, although that right is getting reduced through the process of litigation in the Court of Appeals.
If I’m Not Read My Miranda Rights At a DUI Stop is That Legal?
Miranda almost never applies in DUI cases. Miranda applies to something called a custodial interrogation. There’s two parts to that.
- One: you’re in custody. So the officers placed you under arrest. They said you’re no longer free to leave.
- Two: you’re being interrogated, meaning that the officer is asking you questions.
In a DUI case, most of the questions that the officer is going to ask you are going to be asked prior to arrest. So Miranda doesn’t apply prior to custody. And then the only question that most officers will ask subsequent to arrest is will you submit to a breathalyzer test and the Supreme Court has decided that submission of a breathalyzer sample or a blood sample is not an interrogation for purposes of Miranda. So Miranda usually doesn’t apply to DUI cases.
Other Rights you Have at a DUI Stop
You have the right to not consent to a field sobriety tests. You have the right to not make any admissions of guilt. You have the right to speak to an attorney prior to agreeing to submit to a breathalyzer test and you have a right to remain free from unlawful searches and seizures. So you don’t have to give consent to an officer to search your car.
What Rights Do I Have Immediately Following a DUI Arrest?
Again you have a right to not make any kind of incriminating statements. You have a right to consult with counsel prior to deciding to whether or not to blow into a breathalyzer test. You have a right to refuse that breathalyzer test. However there will be administrative penalties if you do exercise the right to refuse the breathalyzer test.