Sturgis DUI Defense Lawyer
DUI Defense Lawyer Sturgis, SD
A DUI defense lawyer Sturgis, SD clients recommend knows that while a DUI traffic stop can occur at any time, there are certain times of the year that police ramp up the number of DUI traffic stops they conduct. This is especially true during many major holidays when family and friends like to gather and celebrate.
No matter what time of the year a DUI traffic stop happens, it is important for people to be aware of their rights during a DUI stop. People have two main rights that are pertinent to traffic stops, the right to remain silent and the right not to consent to a search.
The Right to Remain Silent
A person’s right to remain silent allows them to refuse to answer police questions during a traffic stop. This means that when the officer asks if the driver has been drinking or where the driver is coming from, the driver is not under any obligation to answer. However, invoking this right involves practical issues. Refusing to cooperate with the officer is technically allowed but may make the traffic stop more difficult. Consequently, a driver’s being polite and courteous is key, when exercising these rights.
This right extends to refusing field sobriety tests as well. Police will often request that people perform some sort of physical challenge or coordination test to determine if they are sober. While refusing these tests will likely result in a long traffic stop, it makes it more difficult for the state to pursue a DUI conviction.
Importantly, the right to remain silent is not the same as the right to lie. While the driver does not need to answer the officer’s questions, the information they do choose to provide must be truthful. Further, the right to remain silent also has an exception. The law requires drivers to produce their driver’s license, a copy of their registration, and proof of insurance upon an officer’s request.
The Right Not to Consent to a Search
In addition to the right to remain silent, drivers also have the right to refuse to give the officer permission to search their vehicle. This is not the same as a right not to have the vehicle searched. The officer may still search the car if they have probable cause to suspect something illegal, but evidence from unconsented searches is harder for the state to use at trial. Your Sturgis DUI defense lawyer will be able to determine if the officer did have probable cause and whether the search was a legal one.
This right not to consent to a search also affects whether a person must submit to a breathalyzer test. People do have the right to refuse such a test, however, South Dakota has an “implied consent” law, which means such a refusal could result in a driver’s license suspension. Still, that may be preferable to a DUI conviction.
Contact Our Office Today
If you have been charged with drunk driving, you need an aggressive Sturgis DUI defense lawyer advocating for you. Call The Law Offices of Clayborne, Loos & Sabers LLP to schedule a free consultation.