Never talk to the police without a lawyer present if being questioned. You have no obligation or requirement to talk other than to provide basic identifying information. The police can legally lie to you in an attempt to get you to make incriminating statements and will use anything they can against you; however, you can be prosecuted if you lie to the police. Remember, there is nothing you can say that cannot wait until your lawyer is present.
Never consent to a vehicle search. The 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution affords us protections against unreasonable searches and seizures. In order to search, the police must either have a warrant, probable cause or consent. Absent a warrant or probable cause, they must have a reason to even request a search. In any such case, you should always politely refuse and request that you be allowed to leave.
Never perform DUI field sobriety tests if stopped for a
DUI. You have the right to refuse these tests. They are divided attention tests that are very difficult to perform even sober. In addition, the tests are not pass or fail. The officer will be looking for specific clues that supposedly correlate to a specific blood alcohol content level. Most officers do not know how to properly give or grade these tests. Unlike a breath test, the state Department of Public Safety cannot suspend your license for refusing.
Never blow into a portable breath test (PBT) if stopped for a DUI. A PBT is not reliable nor is it admissible in court. There are no penalties for refusing a PBT. The police will use a positive result to further investigate you for DUI and, it can be used as proof of alcohol consumption. Never give the police physical evidence against yourself.
Remember that the Constitution affords us all rights against self-incrimination and also offers us protection from unreasonable searches and seizures. These are your rights. Exercise them!
If you have been arrested for DUI or for any other criminal offense, please contact our office. A Mississippi criminal defense attorney can help ensure that your rights are protected.