Phoenix Criminal Defense attorney Nick Alcock explains the rights motorists have when pulled over for a DUI investigation.
Online PR News – 08-August-2011 – – When a police officer pulls you over and asks you to step out of the vehicle to perform sobriety tests, what can you say? Is it appropriate to say no? Will refusing field sobriety tests somehow be used against you later? Phoenix DUI attorney Nick Alcock says the answers to these questions might surprise you.
"People forget that they have rights under the Constitution. Everybody sees movies where actors explain that citizens have the right to remain silent and the right to a criminal defense attorney. When facing a real life cop, however, people tend to agree to do whatever the officer wants."
Alcock explains that the "magic" phrase that motorists need to remember is, "I would like to speak with an attorney before I agree to perform any tests." Requesting an attorney is a reasonable thing to do, Alcock states, because it absolutely cannot be used against a driver in court.
"Prosecutors can't get in front of a jury or judge and claim that you must be guilty because you wanted to speak with a lawyer. Asking to speak to a DUI lawyer effectively shuts down the field sobriety investigation, and the police need to make reasonable efforts to allow you to make a call."
In Arizona, the law allows an officer to arrest a driver who they think is impaired to the slightest degree by alcohol. This means that the police have the power to handcuff a driver and take them to a police station for further testing. Alcock explains, "The ability of a police officer to arrest you is based on an incredibly subjective standard. As a result, I advise people to speak with a lawyer before answering police questions. Remember that there is nothing wrong with exercising your rights."
If you have been arrested for a DUI or another criminal offense and would like to speak with an attorney for a free consultation, call the Law Offices of Alcock and Associates at 602-568-2000.