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Rights During a McLean DUI Stop

Even before a person is placed in custody and Mirandized, they have rights. The Fifth Amendment gives people the right to remain silent and refuse to incriminate themselves. At a DUI stop, the driver has the right to refuse to participate in any field sobriety tests. While officers are authorized to conduct traffic stops and are permitted to ask investigatory questions where illegal activity is suspected such as what a person’s name is, a person is not required to answer additional questions.

The Fourth Amendment protects people from unreasonable searches and seizures. The Sixth Amendment gives people the right to legal counsel. Read below to learn more about the rights during a McLean DUI stop.

Biggest Mistakes to Avoid in a DUI Stop

The biggest mistakes to avoid in DUI stops are:

  • Making incriminating statements
  • Failing to make an officer aware of any medical or health conditions that may impact a person’s ability to complete field sobriety tests (FSTs)
  • Performing poorly on field sobriety tests

Many times, people harm their case by saying things that they should not. For example, if an officer asks a person if they had anything to drink and they said yes, this can be used against them in court. One should not give a dishonest answer, but it is often preferable to decline to answer questions beyond those for identification purposes outside of the presence of counsel.

It is imperative for people to understand that field sobriety tests are voluntary. An officer cannot lawfully compel a driver to participate in these tests. If an officer compels a person to participate in field sobriety tests, such a command may serve as a defense to a person’s DUI charge. If a driver consents to taking these voluntary tests, the officer giving instructions for the tests is supposed to ask the person if they have any health issues that might inhibit their ability to perform the test. Suppose the person recently broke a toe, but fails to share this with the officer before agreeing to participate in these test. That broken toe could cause complications during the performance of balance test.

When Can the Driver Ask to Speak to an Attorney?

One of the rights during a DUI stop in McLean is asking to speak to a lawyer. However, if an individual is placed under arrest, they will not immediately be allowed to speak with a lawyer. Once a person is arrested, taken to a police station before a magistrate, and booked, the person will be allowed access to a telephone to contact an attorney. Once an individual has requested to speak with their lawyer, law enforcement should cease asking them any investigatory questions. This is because the person has invoked the person’s right to counsel and this right should not be violated.

Miranda Rights

A DUI stop itself is legal even if the driver is not read the Miranda rights. Miranda warnings are not required until a person is in police custody – they are not triggered during mere investigatory detentions such as routine traffic stops. The determination of whether a person was in custody is objective, not subjective. The court will look to see how a reasonable person under the person’s circumstances would have perceived the circumstances.

Rights During or Immediately After a DUI Arrest

Once an individual is under arrest following a DUI stop, their Miranda rights are triggered. Before being subjected to investigatory questioning by law enforcement while in custody, the person must be informed of their right to remain silent, that any statements they make can be used as evidence against them, and that they have the right to have an attorney present to assist them. A person is considered to be in custody once an officer has restricted the individual’s freedom of action to a point associated with formal arrest.

Call today to learn more about your rights during a McLean DUI stop and how an attorney could help you.

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