Sponsored by: Harris & Huge LLC
In a DUI situation, as with any arrest, the law is clear about individual’s rights and police procedures. Sometimes, though, the process isn’t followed to the letter of the law. It could be a simple oversight, but it’s important for individuals to understand what’s expected and the legal implications of a misstep.
If you’re stopped for suspicion of driving under the influence, watch for these three steps in the traffic stop and possible arrest.
1. The DUI field sobriety test has to be conducted on camera.
Field sobriety tests help officers establish probable cause to make an arrest by estimating a person’s blood alcohol content. Prosecutors rely on these test results to present evidence in cases of drunken driving.
If the police conduct the sobriety test off camera, they are violating the law, says Stephen Harris of Harris & Huge LLC, which specializes in DUI defense.
If the field sobriety test is not recorded – both with video and audio – Harris says it will likely be deemed inadmissible in the court case. Even though police officers may argue the camera wasn’t working, Harris says that argument usually doesn’t hold up in court. “They know the law,” he says.
2. Police officers are required to inform a suspect of their rights at the time of the arrest.
Anyone who’s watched even one cop show on television is familiar with Miranda rights or warnings.
A key part of the Miranda warning is, “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.” This means you don’t have the answer any other questions. You can stay quiet until you’ve had a chance to talk with your DUI attorney.
3. The officer should ask you to clear your mouth before a breathalyzer test.
This would include things like gum or breath mints. The officer should ensure your mouth is clear before blowing into the breathalyzer. If the officer doesn’t take that step, your attorney could argue the results are inaccurate.
In any DUI situation, it’s important to call a qualified DUI attorney. An attorney experienced in DUI cases will know the law thoroughly and can quickly point out any of these police missteps that could work in your favor.
An attorney who specializes in DUI cases understands the complexity and severity of a DUI arrest and conviction. They know just how significantly jail time or a suspended license can impact your professional and personal life. Especially if one or more of these situations happened during your DUI arrest, you’ll want the help of a qualified professional.
For professional, effective legal counsel in the Lowcountry, turn to a local and experienced attorney’s office like Harris & Huge, LLC. The expert team at Harris & Huge specializes in DUI defense, criminal law defense, corporate law and personal injury.
If you or a loved one is accused of a crime in South Carolina, don’t wait.
Call Harris & Huge at (843) 814-8770 for a free consultation today.