Your Rights When You Are Pulled Over for a DUI
Aug. 26, 2022
As a criminal defense attorney who handles DUI/DWI cases as part of my practice, I often hear the question, “What are my rights when being pulled over for a DUI?” from potential clients.
When the police stop you for a DUI/DWI, you may be unaware of your rights. Knowing your rights when stopped by police can eliminate the uncertainty and ensure that you do not give up any of your constitutional rights.
At Richman Law Office LLC, I provide legal guidance and skilled defense representation to clients facing DUI and DWI charges in Missouri and Kansas. I can help you understand and protect your rights when you are pulled over for a DUI in Kansas City, KS, and Kansas City, MO.
The Right to Not Incriminate Yourself
One of the most fundamental rights protected by the U.S. Constitution is the right to not incriminate yourself. When you are pulled over for a DUI, you will most likely be asked a series of questions. What many motorists do not know is that they can exercise their right to remain silent. While you must provide the required documentation, such as your ID, registration, license, and proof of insurance, you are not obligated to answer the officer’s questions.
The Right to Obtain a Copy of the Police Report
When police officers arrest a driver for DUI or DWI, they will prepare a police report that summarizes the details of the arrest. In Missouri and Kansas, you have the right to obtain a copy of the police report. Requests for a copy can be made in person or by mail. The police report can be an invaluable piece of evidence for your defense case.
The Right Against Unlawful Search & Seizure
The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects you and other motorists stopped for DUI/DWI against unlawful searches and seizures. In other words, any searches or seizures are illegal if the police have no probable cause to believe that a crime is being committed and there is no valid arrest or search warrant.
The Right to Refuse to Take Field Sobriety Tests
Missouri and Kansas laws allow drivers to refuse to take a field sobriety test (FST). Thus, you will not be charged with a crime for refusing to take a field sobriety test when pulled over for a DUI in any of these two states. However, the refusal to take an FST in Kansas can result in a year-long suspension of the driver’s license.
Do not confuse field sobriety tests with chemical tests. Both Missouri and Kansas have implied consent laws that require drivers to submit to breath and blood tests upon request by law enforcement.
The Right to Refuse the Preliminary or
Portable Breath Test
In both Kansas and Missouri, motorists have the right to refuse a breathalyzer test by the roadside. A breathalyzer is also known as a preliminary or portable breath test (PBT). PBTs are not part of the tests covered by the implied consent law. However, even if you refuse the breathalyzer test, you could still be arrested and taken to the police station, where you will be required to submit to breath and blood tests.
The Right to Contact an Attorney
When you are arrested for DUI/DWI, you have the right to retain an attorney. It is vital to exercise this right and contact a knowledgeable attorney to help you fight the charges. Your attorney will represent you during the proceedings and fight for the most favorable outcome possible.
Know Your Rights & Protect Them
At Richman Law Office LLC, I can advise you of your rights and prepare a vigorous defense strategy to fight for a dismissal of the charges. If you do not understand your rights or think that your rights were violated when you were pulled over for a DUI in Kansas City, Missouri, or Kansas City, Kansas, contact my law office for a consultation.