By a certain age nearly everyone has seen something on TV or in the movies, or heard a story about how an accused has the right to remain silent. This right, along with the right to an attorney is referred to as Miranda rights and the media often times plays up these rights in a way that causes confusion in real life. It is not as easy as simply asking for an attorney and then refusing to talk if you have been arrested, and doing so can add complex elements to your case. This is no more true than in the case of a DUI, where prior to being charged with drinking and driving it is probable the defendant was pulled over for some other traffic violation and asked questions. It can be tempting to try and “talk your way out of a ticket”, but the better choice is to watch what you say and how you act.
If you are pulled over and an officer starts questioning you about what you’ve been doing and asks whether you have been drinking, it is a good bet the officer is considering making an arrest for DUI. The following three things are common answers, but should be avoided:
- Saying “I’m sorry” or making any other admission of guilt. If you say something that leads the officer to believe you are agreeing to his or her assessment that you’ve been drinking and driving, those statements will be used against you later.
- Saying you have not had anything to drink at all, when you actually have had a few drinks. The problem with this type of statement is that if a breath or blood test later show alcohol in your system when you have said you have not been drinking, you lose credibility with the judge or jury once your case progresses.
- Admitting to having a few drinks is just as problematic as denying having had any. It might seem like a good idea to be up front in the hope that the police who pulled you over will think you are merely tipsy and not drunk, but rarely do DUI cases turn out in this fashion.
The best tactic is to be polite, but firm in your right to provide only short and concise answers. We understand this is confusing and if you have been arrested for DUI, our experienced DUI defense attorneys can help you develop a strategy that fits the facts of your case including any rights you exercised at the initial traffic stop and anything you may have said.
For more information about DUI cases, call our office today. Contact us today schedule an appointment with an experienced criminal defense attorney in Stuart and the Treasure Coast. The first visit is a free initial consultation.