If you’ve been pulled over for driving under the influence, you’re probably wondering what’s going to happen next. A lot of that will depend on what actually happened at the scene, and whether or not proper procedures were followed. This is usually the first thing that both a good defense attorney and most likely yourself, will investigate when you’re facing a DUI charge. Two of the most common questions regarding your rights in a DUI in Pennsylvania are: what happens if the police don’t read someone their rights in DUI PA; and what happens if I refuse the DUI tests.
Let’s start with the first one because that’s the one that is most complicated and most misunderstood. If you are stopped because an officer thinks you are driving under the influence, the police officer does not need to read you your Miranda Rights. The reading of the Miranda Rights is only necessary if you are going to be interrogated or detained further, and if you are being placed under arrest. However, when you are stopped for a DUI in PA, you are not being placed under arrest. You are simply being stopped and perhaps, charged. Therefore, if you were charged with drunk driving and were not read your Miranda Rights, this is not a defense that will hold up in court.
However, just because the police officer doesn’t need to read you your Miranda Rights, you are still under no obligation to tell the police officer anything. In fact, you should always try to speak to the officer as little as possible and tell them nothing. And, you should never, ever answer the question of whether or not you’ve had anything to drink. Answering that yes, you’ve had even one, gives them authority to question you further, which you want to avoid.
Something the police officer may ask you to do is to take some field sobriety tests. These are things like performing the Breathalyzer test, standing on one foot, walking a straight line, and touching your nose with your fingertip. It’s extremely important to remember that you are under no obligation to perform these tests and nothing will happen if you do not perform the DUI tests.
With this one however, it’s important to remember that the police officer may still have the right to ask you to perform some tests. One of these is the chemical test DUI test that you might be asked to give if you’re taken back to the station, usually a blood or urine test. If you refuse this DUI test in PA, you will automatically lose your license for one year. This is one test that you have to take!
Knowing your rights is important when you’re facing a DUI charge. A good DUI defense attorney will be able to review yours with you, and let you know if they were violated or not.
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