Maryland Criminal Defense AttorneyOur team of Maryland criminal lawyers at The Law Office of Miguel Palmeiro are proud to offer aggressive representation for individuals with a wide variety of legal needs.
As we’ve all seen on social media and news lately, being stopped by the wrong officer, or even the right officer at the wrong time, can be a problem which can affect your legal rights, job opportunities and reputation in the community. If you are stopped for suspicion of DUI or DWI in Maryland, you may be asked to perform a field sobriety test. These are awkward exercises under difficult circumstances that most would not be able to perform under ideal circumstances, let alone under the pressure of knowing that their license and freedom may hang in the balance. You are under no obligation to take this test, but many still will, and that test will haunt them in court.
Additionally, you may be asked to give a preliminary breath test at the scene, which you may also refuse. Be aware, the entire time this is happening, the officer will be making observations and looking for any admissions for later use, prompting with questions like “Have you been drinking?” The typical answer is often “a couple of drinks,” which lets the officer know that you have been drinking SOME amount of alcohol, even if downplaying it. Whether you answer truthfully or not, this answer, as well as any other statements, are almost always used in court, and is often used to justify an officer’s decision to arrest the driver, which can be used to justify more intrusive searches.
Most of our clients pulled over for DUI, or any other criminal matter, have never had an interaction with an officer like this, are nervous and don’t know what to do. A good rule is do nothing: don’t consent to any searches, don’t take any breathalyzer or field sobriety tests and don’t make any statements other than to assert your right to not make statements, even if prompted. Be polite, but understand that your 5th Amendment rights still apply, and should be asserted immediately and until your counsel recommends otherwise.
If you have any additional questions on this or any other criminal matter, please stop by for a free consultation: remember, it’s your freedom and reputation, you have rights, and we’re here to help you assert them.
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