Criminal Law FAQ
Q: Does an officer need a warrant to search me?
A: No. If the cop has probable cause then he/she may search you or your vehicle. You should never consent to a search of anything. If the officer insist make sure you let it be known that you are not consenting and the search is against your will.
Q: Does an officer have to tell me if he/she is a cop?
A: No. This is a myth. An officer’s can and will lie to build a case against you. You have the right to remain silent and should exercise it.
Q: Does an officer have to read me my rights (“Miranda”) if I get arrested?
A: No. The only time you have to be informed of your rights is if the cops are questioning you about the crime while you are in custody. In custody means you are not free to leave. If you have doubts about if you are free to leave, just ask if you can leave. If they say anything but yes you are in custody for the purposes of Miranda. The Courts have determined roadside questioning during a traffic stop or DUI is NOT in custody.
Q: I was stopped for DUI, can I call a lawyer before I do the sobriety tests?
A: No. The officer’s will generally not allow this and current law says they do not have to.
Q: Should I do the DUI sobriety tests?
A: Sobriety tests are subjective to the officer’s interpretation. There is no penalty for refusing to do the roadside sobriety tests.
Q: Should I take the breath analyzer?
A: If you have not had anything to drink, then YES. If you have been drinking then this is your choice, your driver’s license will be suspended longer if you refuse. If you have previously refused then you could be charged with another crime.
Q: If the cops come to “get my side of the story,” should I tell them?
A: No, you should exercise your right to remain silent. If the cops have enough evidence they will arrest you no matter what you say. You will only give them more evidence by talking to them.