The Right to Speak with a Lawyer When Arrested for DUI
Most people are not familiar with the laws related to DUI investigations and arrests in Arizona. Consequently, if they have made the decision to drive after having some drinks and are then stopped by police, several questions immediately come to mind. Specifically:
- Do I have to answer the officer's questions?
- Must I participate in the field sobriety tests?
- Do I have to take a breath, blood or urine test?
- Can I speak with an attorney?
Here, I will address the issue concerning your right to speak with an attorney after being stopped or arrested for DUI in Arizona.
According to the rights afforded us by the United States Constitution, people who have been arrested or charged with a criminal offense have a right to the assistance of an attorney when the adversarial process has begun. This is different from the "Miranda" warnings most everyone is familiar with and applies to situations where a person has been formally charged by way of a summons or grand jury indictment. The "adversarial process," meaning you against the government, begins when a judge or magistrate formally advises you of the charges you are facing.
Stopped for DUI? Request a Lawyer!!
When you are being detained or investigated for DUI in Arizona, the right to consult with an attorney occurs much earlier. Because evidence related to impairment by alcohol or drugs can disappear quickly, people who have been arrested for DUI have a right to consult with a lawyer immediately upon request. As long as consultation with a lawyer does not unreasonably interfere with the officer's investigation, people detained for DUI must be given an adequate opportunity to consult with a lawyer. This includes being afforded a phone, phone book and a private area in which they could speak freely with an attorney. If police interfere with a DUI suspect's ability to contact a lawyer, the results of any breath, blood or urine test can be suppressed or the entire DUI case can be dismissed.
Given that people have a right to consult with a lawyer at the "earliest stages of a DUI investigation, you should take the following steps if stopped and suspected of DUI in Arizona:
- Be polite to the officer and provide basic information such as your name, driver's license, insurance and registration,
- Don't answer any questions related to alcohol consumption
- Don't participate in any field sobriety tests
- Immediately make a clear request to speak with a lawyer before taking any blood, breath or urine tests.
I have represented thousands of people in the Phoenix area as well as throughout the State of Arizona who have been charged with DUI, Extreme DUI, Super Extreme DUI and Aggravated DUI. In a number of cases, I have been successful in having the results of breath, blood or urine tests thrown out or alternatively, charges dismissed entirely after showing that police violated a client's right to speak with a lawyer.
For more information concerning your DUI charges in Arizona, please contact the Law Office of Raymond Kimble at (480) 833-8613. I am a former police officer, was a DUI prosecutor and have been defending people charged with DUI in Arizona for twenty years. I am available for a free consultation twenty four hours a day, seven days a week.