My name is Danielle Diaz. One of the things I've learned in life, both inside and outside the courtroom, is that it is important to not see others as your enemy. Even though you may see the prosecutor as your enemy, he or she is just trying to do a job. It may be possible that you can get a prosecutor or the judge to be sympathetic and get him or her on your side. In order to accomplish this, you need to understand the law. I feel that most individuals do not understand the law, which is why I was motivated to create this blog.
Driving under the influence (DUI) arrests involve a number of steps taken by law enforcement authorities, and each one must be conducted properly to maintain the rights of the accused. That is why those accused of DUI should understand their rights under law and have an understanding of circumstances that can cause charges to be thrown out of court. Below is more information on some of these procedures and what you need to know:
Field sobriety tests
A field sobriety test is an informal assessment of a driver's ability to legally and safely operate a motor vehicle. These tests are conducted on site by police officers, and while there are some standards governing these tests, there is ample room for interpretation on the part of the officers.
It is important for individuals who have been stopped on suspicion of intoxicated driving to know they have the right to refuse these tests. Most individuals will "fail" field sobriety tests, as the officer has usually predetermined whether or not to arrest before then. There is usually no advantage for drivers to take field sobriety tests, as consent may help the case against them. In fact, a refusal to take a field sobriety test may actually aid a driver's case. Refusal can open the door for questioning the arresting officer to determine if they had reasonable suspicion. This can cause enough doubt to cause the case to be dismissed or gain acquittal for the defendant.
Another test used for DUI charge is a chemical analysis of the subject's blood, breath, or saliva. These tests can begin in the field as preliminary breath tests that are notoriously inaccurate, and refusing to take this test may be the best option for the accused. As with field sobriety testing, it usually only serves to help aid the officer. By refusing, the driver once again can introduce enough doubt that may allow them to win their case.
As for blood testing or breathalyzer testing used post-arrest, a refusal to take these tests is often counterproductive, as administrative penalties, such as loss of driving privileges, can be enforced against offenders. In addition, some states can bring additional criminal charges against those who refuse. At this point, it is important to focus on other aspects of the case and introduce evidence that can be helpful in obtaining an acquittal. Of course, consultation with a qualified criminal attorney is necessary to building an effective defense. Contact an attorney like Robert A Murray to learn more.