Your Rights At a DUI Stop in Culpeper County

Anyone who has been pulled over and suspected of driving under the influence has rights that may not be violated by law enforcement. Below, a Culpeper DUI lawyer discusses these rights and the impact they can have on your case. For more information call and schedule a consultation today.

Does Law Enforcement Need Consent To Search Your Vehicle During a DUI Stop?

You never have to consent to a search during a traffic stop or at any other time. With that said, the police may have probable cause to search your person or your vehicle and if they begin to do so you should comply. However, individuals should always make it clear to police and say out loud that they do not consent to searches. Lack of consent under circumstances where there is not probable cause can provide a very valuable defense which may cause important evidence in the prosecution’s case to be kept out of evidence by an experienced DUI lawyer.

Does Law Enforcement Need Consent to Search Your Vehicle After a DUI Arrest?

You don’t have to consent to a search of your vehicle after being arrested for a DUI, however whenever a person is arrested the police do have some limited rights to conduct searches of parts of the vehicle to make sure that there are no weapons or other contraband present. Nevertheless it is always a good idea to plainly tell the police that you do not consent to searches.

Can You Ask To Speak With An Attorney During a DUI Stop?

You can ask to speak to your lawyer during a DUI stop but you’re not going to be permitted to. The first opportunity that an individual will have to speak to a lawyer in most cases will be after they have appeared before the magistrate judge and released. There is no requirement under law for the police to allow a suspect to make a phone call to their lawyer or anyone else while the investigation is going on. In rare cases police may allow that to happen but in most cases the first opportunity to make contact will be after release.

Is It Legal For Police To Not Read Me My Miranda Rights?

Miranda rights are required if the prosecution is offering statements that have been made by the defendant after they have been arrested. In DUI cases most of the evidence is collected prior to the arrest, so unless the police want to interview a suspect after the arrest to elicit further information they will not need to read Miranda rights. However once a person is placed under arrest any statements that they will make will be inadmissible in court unless they have been given Miranda warning.

What Other Rights Do I Have At A DUI Stop?

A person during a DUI stop and throughout the process has the right to remain silent, they don’t have to answer the questions of the police beyond the Virginia specific requirement that they identify themselves and provide their ID if they have one. The right to remain silent and not incriminate oneself also extends to not cooperating with field sobriety tests or roadside preliminary breath tests.

A person also has the right during or after a DUI not to consent to searches. There may be legal searches which will happen in the course of the arrest but pre arrest and post arrest an individual should make it clear that they don’t consent to searches.

What Are The Biggest Mistakes You Should Avoid During a DUI Stop?

The biggest mistakes to avoid in DUI stops are acknowledging that there has been any drinking or substance abuse or to answer any questions beyond identifying yourself as the law requires. Similarly it is always a mistake in the DUI stop to perform any of the field sobriety tests or to perform the preliminary breath test at the side of the road. All these tests and any questions that the police ask are calculated to eliciting incriminating evidence which will be used as part of their probable cause determination in making arrests and ultimately as part of the evidence of guilt later at trial.