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Your Rights When You're Pulled Over for a Supected DUI

Fact is, most people don't even know their rights if they're pulled over! Here's a quick list of the most important rights you need to know and how the conversation may go if you are pulled over:

"Do you know why I pulled you over?" It's typically the first thing you'll hear. It's also deliberately designed to get you to admit to certain behavior. Be polite and simply ask, "Why do you ask?" and then wait for a response. Do not comment. That phrase "anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law" is truer than you'll ever know, trust us.

"Have you had anything to drink tonight?" If you truthfully have had nothing to drink that night, say, "No." If you've had something to drink, you don't have to share that information! Telling the officer that you've been drinking will be evidence used against you. Instead, say, "I have no statement to make." While it may seem unnatural, this is your right and it could mean the difference between a conviction and acquittal.

"I need you to step out of the car and take a few field sobriety tests." Let's be clear on this: Do not perform field sobriety tests. They are designed for you to fail. You are not required to do field sobriety tests in most states.

"You need to take a breath test." This one's tricky, because there are typically TWO breath tests involved in a DUI stop: the preliminary breathalyzer at the scene and the formal breath test at the police station. If you've had anything to drink, you should REFUSE the breath test at the scene. Like the field sobriety tests, it is not mandatory and it will not work in your favor. All the officer is looking for is probable cause to arrest you. The police station breath test is an entirely different beast... refusing that one will lead to severe penalties, including license suspension.

Bottom line -- You have the right to remain silent and you should use it. As soon as you are allowed to, you should call the Law Office of William J. Luse (843-839-4795) to guide you through your case.

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