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Biggest Mistakes to Avoid in Newport News DUI Cases

Accused or suspected of driving under the influence in Newport News, Virginia? Here are the biggest mistakes you can make when interacting with law enforcement officers according to a Newport News DUI lawyer. Call today and schedule a free consultation to learn what an attorney can do your case.

The biggest mistake people make in Newport News DUI cases is answering anything the officer asks. The law enforcement officer is fishing for information to use to arrest the driver. Even if the information the driver is supplying is not enough, the officer is also looking to see whether the driver is coherent while speaking or if they are slurring their speech.

The best thing to do is to not answer any questions or consent to anything and just give the officer your information. Sometimes this will annoy the officer and he/she will then tell the driver that if they do not cooperate then it is going to be much harder for them. But it is the driver’s constitutional right to remain silent and they cannot be punished for exercising this right.

Another big mistake we see in Newport News DUI cases is along the same line is that the driver performs all of the tests. The field sobriety tests are just more information that are going to go towards building a case against the driver. The tests are not required and the best thing to do is to refuse them.

Do Constitutional Issues Arise from Mistakes by Officers

There are a few constitutional issues that may come up in Newport News DUI cases.

First, there are some Fourth Amendment violation issues that can arise. The prosecution needs to demonstrate that there was reasonable, articulable suspicion for the police officer to perform the stop in the first place. If there was not reasonable articulable suspicion for the stop then it does not matter what the result of the stop is or whether someone was stumbling all over the place in a DUI case. The whole case can be thrown out because the Fourth Amendment was violated.

This is not a very high standard so it generally does not come up very often. The prosecution also needs to demonstrate that the DUI arrest was due to probable cause. Once the law enforcement officer places the driver under arrest then there are also some Fifth Amendment issues that come into play. The police officer is required to read the driver his Miranda Rights in order to inform the driver of his right to remain silent and all his other rights going forward.

If the police officer does not do this, then anything else that the driver says after his arrest is not going to admissible in court.

These issues can impact the case because without following the proper procedures and doing everything by the book, the police officer could put his case in jeopardize and run the risk of having it dismissed due to his failure adhere to the constitution. A case that would have resulted ultimately to a DUI conviction can therefore instead result in a DUI dismissal.