What you should do following an arrest?

What do I do if I am arrested by the police?

Stay calm and don’t panic! NEVER resist arrest by police, even if you feel you are being wrongfully arrested. Resisting arrest will very likely lead to the greater use of force by the police and in additional criminal charges.

What are my rights once I am placed under arrest?

Once you are placed under arrest, you will usually be advised of your Constitutional rights as follows: 1) You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law; 2) You have the right to speak to an attorney, and to have an attorney present during questioning; 3) If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided to you at government expense. After these rights, known as Miranda rights, are read to you, you will be asked if you understand these rights. If you need an interpreter to help you with the understanding of these rights, you can request one. If you don’t understand your rights, even with the help of an interpreter, let the police officer know. Once you have indicated you understand your rights, the police officer will usually ask you if you wish to waive them and provide a statement.

Should I exercise any or all of my rights?

In general, it is better to ask for your lawyer and decline to answer any questions unless instructed by your lawyer. Many people get in trouble when they attempt to explain their situation or provide an excuse for their conduct that led to the arrest. Remember, all of the statements you make will be used against you in a court of law. Sometimes, lies are as damaging against you as confessions. So, unless authorized by your lawyer, don’t say anything beyond your name and contact information. For those who are foreign citizens visiting the United States, you should consider notifying your country’s Embassy or Consulate of your arrest. They may have resources available to help you.

Does being placed under arrest necessarily mean I will be detained in jail?

No. If you are arrested for a minor offense like shoplifting, driving while license suspended, or even driving while under the influence, you may be booked into jail and processed for fingerprints and other administrative requirements. However, once these have been completed, you may be released on your own recognizance or to an adult relative or friend, assuming you are not a danger to yourself or others. Your release does not mean you will not be charged with a crime later after the investigation is completed. Your release just means that the police see no reason to detain you at the time. So be on your best behavior and follow all commands by the police. Once released, you should also use the time to look for a competent and experienced lawyer because you will probably be charged a later date. Don’t wait until the last minute to find a good lawyer. If you are arrested for a serious or violent offense, you will very probably be detained in jail. This is also true if you are found to have an outstanding warrant for your arrest on another matter, even though your current arrest is for a minor offense.

What should I do if I am detained following an arrest?

Ask for access to a phone. Your first phone call should be to someone you trust and someone you know you can reach right away. This may be your lawyer or a family member or friend. If you call a family member or friend, be sure he or she helps you find and hire a good, dependable and experienced lawyer. You should also have your contact research the several bail bond companies in the area. You may need their assistance to post bail. For many charges, the court may allow you to be released pending trial if you post bail, so it is important to have a bail bond company ready to assist you to minimize your time spent in jail.

What should I do if I believe I am being wrongfully arrested?

Discuss this with your lawyer. Do not argue with the police or the judge. Let your lawyer handle this for you.

What usually happens 24-72 hours following an arrest and detention?

Not including weekends and certain holidays, within this time period, you will usually be given what is known as your “first appearance’ before a judge. The judge will review the police reports and determine if there is “probable cause” to believe you committed a crime. If there is such cause, the judge will next determine if you should continue to be detained or if you should be released with conditions such as bail, promise not to engage in further criminal behavior, promise to stay away from certain persons or places. This is why it is important to hire a lawyer right away and arrange for the posting of bail through your own finances or through a bail bond company. If you are detained, the prosecutor must file formal charges against you within 72 hours of your arrest. If he/she doesn’t, then you must be released. Again, this does not mean you are completely clear. It very likely means that the prosecutor needs more time to bring charges against you. So use this time to hire a good lawyer.

What are factors that the judge will consider in determining whether to release or keep me in detention?

Factors in favor of release include the lack of criminal history, the relatively minor nature of the crime, presence of a support system, history of continuous employment, ties to the community and verifiable address and contact information, and the likelihood that conditions of release will be followed by you. Factors against release include criminal history, the seriousness of the crime, risk of harm to yourself or others, risk of future criminal conduct, few or no ties to the community, evidence that you are likely not to appear in court in the future (foreign citizen), or a history of failing to appear for court in other criminal matters.

 

—Disclaimer—

This article is made available by Lee & Lee, PS for educational purposes only. The intent is to give the reader general information and a general understanding of the law. The article does not provide specific legal advice. Readers of this article should understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the writers. Furthermore, the article is not a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your jurisdiction.

What to do when stopped by police in your car?

What should you do when you are stopped by police in your car?

Stop as soon as possible at the nearest safe location without blocking traffic. Leave room on the driver side of the road for the police officer to safely approach you.

After pulling-over, what should you do?

Open your car window, but NOT your door. Do not get out of your car unless you are asked by the police. Do not make any sudden movements or bend down. Keep your hands visible at all times. If it is dark outside, turn on the dome light. Be polite, follow the instructions and stay calm.

If we are in a hurry or in an emergency situation, should we inform the police officer?

Stop the vehicle. Explain to the officer the nature of the emergency situation and ask for his/her assistance.

Do we have the right to ask for the police officer’s identification, rank, police department he/she works or for the precinct location?

Yes, it is the responsibility of the police officer to provide his/her identification at traffic spot. Please ask in a polite manner. If the officer refuses, you still need to cooperate.

Can we record the conversation with the officer?

In Washington State, the law requires both parties’ consent in order to legally record the conversation. Do not record the conversation without the officer’s consent, and the consent must also be recorded.

What do you do if the officer is abusive, humiliating or disrespectful?

Stay calm. Follow officer’s instructions at all times. Request the officer’s identification. After the incident, report your complaints to the police or consult a lawyer.

 

—Disclaimer—
This article is made available by Lee & Lee, PS for educational purposes only. The intent is to give the reader general information and a general understanding of the law. The article does not provide specific legal advice. Readers of this article should understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the writers. Furthermore, the article is not a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your jurisdiction.

What should I do if I decide to fight my traffic ticket? Part 4 (Conclusion)

What kind of evidence should I present in my defense?

You want to demonstrate that you did not or could not have committed the infraction.  Making excuses does not help prove your innocence, so saying things like: “I was just going with the flow of traffic”, or “I didn’t know how fast I was going” or “well there was another guy who was going even faster than I was” are not going to be very persuasive to a judge.  Also, ignorance of the law is not a defense.  So explanations like: “I didn’t see the posted speed limit” or “I thought I was allowed to drive on the shoulder” or “the traffic laws in my country are different so I was confused” are not going to help.

If a radar detector was used to read your speed, try to show that there were so many cars near and around you that the radar could not have accurately detected your speed.  If you had to make an emergency maneuver to avoid an accident, present that evidence.  Sometimes, arguments about the fairness of a ticket can be persuasive to a judge.  For example, some police officers like to catch people coming out of a higher speed limit area into a lower speed limit area.  If you were driving within the speed limit in a 35 mph zone and, upon immediately entering a 25 mph zone, an officer pulls you over – show this in court.

How can I show this unfair speed entrapment?
Take photos of the area where you were stopped, being careful to show the speed limit signs as well.  Show, if you can, that the officer stopped you within a few feet of entering the lower speed zone.

What other things can I argue or demonstrate?

Radar detectors are generally quite accurate, assuming they have been properly maintained and serviced. But officers sometimes also gauge your speed by following you and, while maintaining a constant distance from you, use their own speedometer to measure your speed. This isn’t very accurate, so if you had passengers in your car, see if they noticed how fast you were going and can testify to your true speed.

Police officers are human and also make mistakes. So come to court prepared with credible witnesses, photographic evidence and/or a logical argument of your innocence and you may have a shot at winning. Keep in mind, however, that the police or prosecutor only has to prove that you committed the infraction “by a preponderance of the evidence.” This means there only needs to be a showing of a 51% likelihood that you committed the infraction – this isn’t a very heavy burden for the prosecutor or police.

A judge has found that I committed the infraction.  Now what?

Don’t get angry. You have a couple of choices: 1) Pay the fine. Most judges will reduce the fine just for showing up in court; or 2) you can appeal the judge’s finding. To appeal the judge’s finding, you must file a written notice appeal with the court within 30 days of the finding. You will be responsible for the costs of an appeal, which includes a $220 filing fee. The appeal will be reviewed by the Superior Court. The Superior Court will only review the record/evidence presented during the contested traffic hearing. You will not be allowed to present new evidence. If it is that important to you to fight your ticket, I recommend that you hire an attorney to handle your appeal. Appeals are far more complicated than presenting evidence in a traffic court hearing.

What if I refuse to pay the fine imposed by the judge?

That would be a very bad idea.  The unpaid fine will be sent to a collections agency and your credit history will be negatively impacted.  More importantly, unpaid traffic fines will lead to your driver’s license being suspended.  If you continue to drive with a suspended driver’s license, you could be charged with a crime.  So, ignoring a minor traffic ticket could lead to an escalation of charges and result in the loss of your liberty.

 

—Disclaimer—

This article is made available by Lee & Lee, PS for educational purposes only. The intent is to give the reader general information and a general understanding of the law. The article does not provide specific legal advice. Readers of this article should understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the writers. Furthermore, the article is not a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your jurisdiction.

What should I do if I decide to fight my traffic ticket? Part 3

Besides witnesses, what else should I bring with me to traffic court?

The copy of the ticket that the police officer or trooper gave you does not contain the facts of the incident. Therefore, you must submit a request in writing for a copy of all the police statements, photographs, diagrams, and evidence that the prosecutor/police intend to use against you in court. This is known as the “discovery.” Your request should be submitted with the clerk of the court and the prosecutor. You can contact the court that your case is assigned to and ask for the prosecutor’s name, address, and phone number. This request should be made at least 14 days prior to your hearing. Make sure you provide a current address to which the documents can be sent. You should also send your request for discovery by certified mail or any other way in which there is proof of when you sent it and when it was received.

What happens if I don’t get the “discovery” in time or at all?

If the prosecutor sends you the discovery less than 7 days prior to the hearing, you may ask the court to suppress the evidence. However, the evidence will not be suppressed unless you can demonstrate that the delay in providing the discovery to you prejudiced your case. This is a high burden, and many judges will not suppress delayed evidence. If, without reasonable justification, the prosecutor fails to send you the discovery prior to the hearing, then you can ask the judge to suppress the evidence. If the evidence is suppressed, there is no proof of the infraction and the case will be dismissed.

Now that I have everything I need for court, what actually happens when my case is called?

In some courts, the judge will read the police statements out loud and identify the evidence against you (i.e. radar gun readout, photos, etc.). In other courts, a prosecutor may be the one reading aloud the evidence and statements. If the police officer is present, he/she will be called to the stand by either the judge or the prosecutor and asked, under oath, to recount what happened. This is known as direct examination. After he/she has done so, you will be given the opportunity to ask him/her questions. This is called cross-examination.

I have never asked a witness questions in court.  What do I do?

Be calm, respectful and polite. Don’t try to argue with the police officer – he/she has had a lot of experience testifying in court. You won’t win. Calmly try to get your points across to the judge by questioning the accuracy of the officer’s memory and perception and perhaps his/her bias. The same should be done while questioning a civilian witness.

What happens after the evidence against me has been presented?

At this point, you will get to present your evidence. You may call witnesses to testify on your behalf and you may also choose to testify on your own behalf. If you have photos or diagrams, you will generally need to establish that they accurately depict what they are intended to depict before you can use them. In a calm and respectful manner, present your side of the case. If you are asked questions by the judge or the prosecutor, be truthful and calm in your answers.

 

—Disclaimer—

This article is made available by Lee & Lee, PS for educational purposes only. The intent is to give the reader general information and a general understanding of the law. The article does not provide specific legal advice. Readers of this article should understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the writers. Furthermore, the article is not a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your jurisdiction.

What should I do if I decide to fight my traffic ticket? Part 2

I have heard about something called “deferral.” Is this a good way to fight my ticket?

A “deferral” is not really a way to fight your ticket. Instead, it is a way to keep your driving record clean. However, the first step in a deferral is to admit that you committed the traffic infraction.

How does it work?

One deferral is allowed every seven years for a non-moving violation (i.e. defective tail light) and one deferral is allowed every seven years for a moving violation (i.e. speeding). This law grants the judge/commissioner the ability to grant a deferral, but does not compel him/her to do so. There are also not set criteria for getting a deferral – it is up to the individual judge/commissioner. But, this is where your driving record can be useful. Most judges will grant a deferral if: 1) you have a driving record that he/she feels is deserving of a deferral; 2) you pay a fee (usually $100-200) which sometimes may be higher than the fine on your original ticket; 3) you do not commit another infraction for a set period (normally 6-12 months); and 4) you are not a commercial driver. If you comply with the judge’s/commissioner’s conditions, the traffic infraction will not appear on your record. But, if you get a second infraction within the specified time period, or fail to make your payment on time, the infraction will appear on your record AND you will have to pay the full fine for the ticket.

If I don’t want a deferral and I want to fight my ticket in court without a lawyer, what should I do?

Be prepared. If you have witnesses, bring them to court with you. A letter or statement from a witness will not be allowed in court. Generally, you must present live witnesses. Bring with you all documents, photographs or other evidence that you intend to use in your argument. Show up to court early and dressed appropriately. Check in with the clerk or bailiff to let the court know you have arrived and sit quietly until your case is called. Sometimes, it can take up to three hours before your case is heard. Don’t be nervous! Even if this is your first time speaking in front of people or in a courtroom, be calm. The judge/commissioner knows this can be a nervous ordeal for many. Most will try to be relatively informal and relaxed. If you need an interpreter, don’t be ashamed or embarrassed. You should request an interpreter at the time you requested a hearing. If you forgot to do this, ask to reschedule the hearing to another time when an interpreter can be available. Or, you can bring a friend with you to help translate.

—Disclaimer—

This article is made available by Lee & Lee, PS for educational purposes only. The intent is to give the reader general information and a general understanding of the law. The article does not provide specific legal advice. Readers of this article should understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the writers. Furthermore, the article is not a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your jurisdiction.

What should I do if I decide to fight my traffic ticket?

The first thing you should do is order a copy of your driving record from the Department of Licensing. You can do this online by visiting www.dol.wa.gov It is a good idea to get a copy of your driving record because it will give you a realistic appreciation for your driving history. The lack of a history may be beneficial to you in court. If you have a long and bad driving record, be prepared for the worst. The judge or the commissioner will have a copy of your record.

Should I request that the trooper or officer be subpoenaed for court?

This could be a good strategy. If the officer or trooper fails to appear in court, you may ask the court to dismiss the traffic infraction. In most cases, the dismissal will probably be granted…but it is the judge’s/commissioner’s discretion. Police officers are very busy and may not have time to appear in court to deal with a minor traffic ticket. If you were pulled over in the middle of the night, there is a high probability that the officer sleeps during the day, which is when the hearings are scheduled. An officer may not want to give up his sleep time to testify in a minor traffic case. However, there are police officers that are very dedicated to their jobs and will appear in court no matter the time or the case.

Are there any other “tricks” to getting a ticket dismissed?

Yes, there are many ways to get your ticket dismissed. For example, if you were caught speeding by use of a radar gun, you can demand that the prosecutor/police prove that the radar equipment was tested recently and found to be in accurate working order. If such proof cannot be provided, you may ask for your ticket to be dismissed. In general, however, the many ways to get your ticket dismissed involve a deep understanding of the rules and laws. If your intent is to use a technicality to get your ticket dismissed, I recommend you contact an attorney who specializes in fighting traffic tickets.

How much do attorneys charge to fight traffic tickets?

In general, these specialist attorneys charge anywhere from $300 – $500, inclusive of all costs and expenses. The fee depends on the attorney’s experience and the volume of cases he/she handles. To some people, the legal fees are well worth it. Others prefer to try and save money and fight their ticket on their own. This is a matter of choice. If you do decide to hire an attorney, select one that has experience fighting in traffic court. A fancy corporate lawyer from a big law firm likely won’t have the necessary experience and knowledge to successfully represent you in traffic court. Such a lawyer is also unlikely to want to handle such a minor case.

 

—Disclaimer—

This article is made available by Lee & Lee, PS for educational purposes only. The intent is to give the reader general information and a general understanding of the law. The article does not provide specific legal advice. Readers of this article should understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the writers. Furthermore, the article is not a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your jurisdiction.

What are my options after I am issued a traffic ticket?

The first thing to do is to identify the type of ticket you have received.  If your ticket is green or white, then you have probably received an infraction (non-criminal offense that carries only a fine).  If the ticket is gold, however, then you have likely been issued a criminal traffic violation with a notice indicating that you are being charged with a particular criminal offense that, in addition to carrying a fine, may also result in jail time.  You cannot ignore a criminal charge by simply paying a fine.  You will have to make an appearance in court.  Therefore, you should consult an attorney immediately!

So what should I do if my ticket is a traffic infraction?

In general, you have three options: 1) pay the ticket; 2) attempt to mitigate (reduce the fine) the ticket; or 3) contest (fight) the ticket. You will find these options on the back of the ticket infraction in a checklist. You must select one of these options and return the ticket within 15 days of the date the ticket was issued to you in person, or 18 days from the date the ticket was mailed to you.

Which option should I choose?

If you are not concerned about the impact of the infraction on your driving record or your insurance rates, the easiest option is to pay the fine. Keep in mind, however, that certain occupations require you to have a clean driving record. Those with a lengthy record of traffic violations also need to be careful as a new infraction may result in license suspension by the Department of Licensing. Sometimes, the easy way out is not necessarily the best outcome for an individual. So think carefully before you choose.

What about mitigation?

Mitigation usually results in a reduction of the fine. Most courts reduce the fine if you show up and offer some kind of an explanation for the infraction. But it doesn’t really make much sense. If you are going to take time off from work and wait in a courtroom for your case to be heard, you may as well contest or challenge the ticket. Some people, however, don’t feel comfortable denying an infraction. Instead, they prefer to admit the infraction and then ask the court for leniency. A mitigated or reduced ticket will still appear on your driving record and will still have the same impact on your insurance as a committed infraction.

What about traffic school?  I heard that if you attend traffic school, the court will dismiss your ticket infraction?

In general, most courts in Washington do not allow traffic school to keep a traffic ticket off your record. The courts do sometimes order it as part of a penalty, but rarely, if ever, will a court allow you to attend traffic school to avoid a traffic infraction.

 

—Disclaimer—
This article is made available by Lee & Lee, PS for educational purposes only. The intent is to give the reader general information and a general understanding of the law. The article does not provide specific legal advice. Readers of this article should understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the writers. Furthermore, the article is not a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your jurisdiction.

I have been pulled over by a police officer. Now what do I do?

Don’t panic. Be polite at all times. An officer may have already decided to give you a ticket, but acting angry and obnoxious won’t help you. In fact, if you are rude and uncooperative, the officer is likely to put a notation on the ticket to inform the prosecutor not to give you a deal or reduction in fines. Never admit guilt. If a policeman asks, “Do you know why I stopped you”, never answer in the affirmative. Any admissions you make can and will be used against you. It is better for you to say, “No, I don’t know why you stopped me. Would you mind explaining to me what you think I did?” If you get an answer, do not argue with the officer. Follow instructions and keep calm and polite at all times.

Do I have to sign the speeding ticket?

No.  Prior to 2006 it used to be a crime (gross misdemeanor) for someone to refuse to sign a traffic citation.  The law only requires that the officer affirm that a copy of the ticket or citation was provided to you.  But remember the advice about being polite and cooperative – while it is not necessary to sign, refusing to sign may make you look uncooperative and hostile.  This could have an impact on the way in which a judge looks at your case at a later date.

What if I completely ignore the ticket?

In Washington, a speeding ticket is an infraction punishable by only a fine. If you ignore the ticket, it will be defaulted and deemed to have been committed and will be sent to a collections agency. This will impact your credit. The Department of Licensing will also be notified of your failure to respond to the ticket. Eventually, the Department of Licensing will suspend your driver’s license. If you are then stopped for speeding or another traffic violation, you will also be charged with Driving While License Suspended in the Third Degree. This is a crime punishable by up to 90 days in jail. So, it is in your best interests to respond to the ticket promptly. Ignoring it will have devastating insurance and liberty consequences, so don’t’ do it! One important note is that some driving offenses are actually crimes. You may think you were stopped and cited only for a traffic infraction, but instead, you may have been cited for a driving crime like Reckless Driving (Racing) or Negligent Driving in the First Degree. Ignoring a citation for these or other more serious crimes will result in the issuance of a warrant for your arrest.

 

—Disclaimer—
This article is made available by Lee & Lee, PS for educational purposes only. The intent is to give the reader general information and a general understanding of the law. The article does not provide specific legal advice. Readers of this article should understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the writers. Furthermore, the article is not a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your jurisdiction.

No Warrant Needed For Breath Test

The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) heard a case earlier this year, Birchfield v. North Dakota, that involved two issues related to DUI breath test:

  • Do the police need a warrant to conduct a breath test on a suspected drunk driver?
  • Do the police need a warrant to conduct a blood test on a suspected drunk driver?

Breath Tests:

On the 23rd of June this year, the SCOTUS announced their decision. In a 6-2-majority opinion, Justice Alito held that police don’t need a warrant to conduct a breath test on defendants. Weighing several factors, Justice Alito explained that a breath test does not amount to a physical intrusion on the suspect’s body. Unlike blood or DNA, breath tests can only provide police officers with one piece of information: the concentration of alcohol in a person’s breath. There is nothing else a breath test can provide the police. Furthermore, there is nothing retained. Unlike a blood sample, which can be kept in a vial indefinitely, breath is fleeting and uncontainable. As such, the court held that states could conduct these warrantless tests and punish those for refuse to take it.

Blood Tests:

However, the court held by a 7-1 majority that blood tests do require a warrant. These tests, Alito wrote, are “significantly more intrusive” because they require a technician to puncture the suspect’s skin with a needle to draw the blood. The blood, unlike breath, can be retained indefinitely, and provides a wide range of information that goes beyond alcohol concentration. This means that state laws that penalize a suspect for refusing to take a blood test are unconstitutional. Accordingly, we can expect to see police departments emphasizing the use of breath tests over the intrusive blood tests in order to order to fight drunk driving.

For a more in-depth analysis, check out SCOTUS Blog’s article on this case. For the more adventurous reader, you can read the case itself:

http://www.scotusblog.com/2016/06/opinion-analysis-states-prevail-on-breath-but-not-blood-tests-without-a-warrant/

https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/15pdf/14-1468_8n59.pdf

 

—Disclaimer—
This article is made available by Lee & Lee, PS for educational purposes only. The intent is to give the reader general information and a general understanding of the law. The article does not provide specific legal advice. Readers of this article should understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the writers. Furthermore, the article is not a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your jurisdiction.

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DUI Trouble

One of the most dangerous things a reasonable person can do is to drive drunk. A DUI can not only result in physical harm to you or others, it can destroy your reputation, your savings, and so much more. Mistakes in judgment do happen though; we are human after all. If you are pulled over by the police try to keep the following in mind:

  • Remain Calm. When you are pulled over it is important to keep in mind that the officer is observing everything you do. Try not to stop abruptly, drift in and out of lanes, or hit the curb or guardrail as you pull off the road. Such behavior could be used as evidence against you in court.
  • Be Polite and Respectful. Have everything ready (driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance) before the officer is at your window. When the officer talks to you, do not be argumentative or rude. Your attitude towards the officer can be used against you in court. It is better to have the judge hear that you were cooperative and polite than disrespectful.
  • Do Not Lie. The worst thing you could do during a DUI stop is lie. Lying destroys your credibility in court and makes it difficult to mount a strong defense. Instead, when the officer asks if you have been drinking, politely tell the officer, “I would like to speak with an attorney before I answer questions.” This phrase is your best defense in a DUI situation. Once said, refuse to answer any questions until you talk to an attorney.
  • Decline to Take the Field Sobriety Tests. These tests (like reciting the alphabet, standing on one leg, walking a straight line, etc.) are voluntary. You do not have to do them if you do not want to. Tell the officer that you do not wish to do them. The officer is likely to warn you that refusing to do the FSTs will result in your arrest and/or suspension of your driver’s license. This is true, but it is also true that by this point the officer was probably going to arrest you anyway.
  • Take the Breath Test At The Police Station. Unless you spoke to an attorney that told you otherwise, take the breath test at the police station. Refusing to take the breath test can be used against you in court and increase the mandatory minimum sentence if you are found guilty of a DUI. The breath test is more reliable than FSTs and courts tend to trust the results.
  • Sometimes an officer will ask you to take a portable breath test (PBT). This test is voluntary, just like the FSTs. DO NOT CONFUSE THE TWO TEST! The PBT is voluntary and refusing to take it will not be used against you in trial. The breath test at the police station, while technically voluntary, has severe penalties if you refuse to take it. Take the one at the police station, unless your attorney tells you otherwise.

Bottom Line. Do not lie and ask to talk with an attorney before you answer any questions. It would not be a bad idea to have an attorney on speed dial on your phone.

If you ever find yourself facing a DUI charge give us a call. Several of our attorneys are former prosecutors and are intimately familiar with the criminal justice system. We can go over your legal options and represent your case in court.

 

—Disclaimer—
This article is made available by Lee & Lee, PS for educational purposes only. The intent is to give the reader general information and a general understanding of the law. The article does not provide specific legal advice. Readers of this article should understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the writers. Furthermore, the article is not a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your jurisdiction.