Free “Virginia DUI Lawyer” App for iPhone & Droid
-Do You Know Your Rights when stopped by Police for possible Drunk Driving offense?
Hi, I'm Richmond, Virginia DUI Lawyer Bob Battle. As someone who has been practicing law and defending and prosecuting people on DUIs for over 27 years now, I am surprised at how few people really know exactly what their rights are when they are stopped by the police and the police are investigating to determine whether to charge them with DUI. So one thing that I have decided to do is give people an easy way to access their rights. I always hesitated to explain one’s rights when asked because it's sort of the cocktail party question. People come up to me and ask:
“Well, I've had 3 drinks, I don't feel that I'm intoxicated but I know that that may get me to a .08, what do I do if I'm pulled over?”
So I hesitated to respond because often when I tell people, they get it wrong.
They say, “Oh, well I have to take that Preliminary Breath Test at the scene and not the one at the station.” That is incorrect.
Or, “I've got to do this test or that test, don't I?” (Answer- no, all tests at the scene are voluntary!)
In an effort to advise individuals of their legal rights while also ensuring that what I stated was not misunderstood, I have now come up with my own smartphone app, The Virginia DUI Lawyer App for iPhone and Droid. It is free. This App allows you to immediately dial a lawyer or you can visit my website among other features.
ANYONE who legally drinks and drives in Virginia, not just those who may be intoxicated, needs to know their rights
The most important section on this App is the section called “Know Your Rights.” If you are someone who legally drinks and drives or if you are someone who takes any prescription medication, and one of the side effects may be drowsiness, you need to know your rights because I have seen time and time again people who, had they properly asserted their rights, would not be convicted of a DUI offense.
Are you willing to risk a permanent DUI conviction because you “failed” the “Roadside Olympics?” Are you going to risk letting a judge rule that because you couldn’t walk like a chicken or stand like a flamingo that you must have been drunk? Get this App- Know Your Legal Rights!
So what are your rights if you are stopped?
1. First you have the right to remain silent. If you wish to exercise that right, say so out loud.
2. This is important, you have the right to refuse each and every "test" the officer asks you to perform. All tests at the scene are voluntary. The government's own testing shows that 30 percent of people who are complete sober cannot do these tests. This includes the preliminary breath test. This is the handheld breath test at the scene. You do not have to take it. There is no penalty for not taking it. These instruments are very inaccurate, they are not properly maintained, they are thrown in the back of the police officer's cruiser.
3. If you are not under arrest you have the right to calmly leave.
4. You have the right to a lawyer before answering any questions. Anything you say can and will be used against you.
5. You have the right to refuse to consent to a search of yourself, your property or your car.
6. If you are arrested for DUI you have given your “Implied Consent” to the blood or breath test at the station. If you refuse these tests at the station there is a one-year loss of license for conviction of Refusal and if you're convicted of a Refusal after a prior DUI or Refusal conviction, it is a criminal offense that carries a 3 year loss of license and possible jail time.
7. Assert your rights- You can say to the officer the following:
“I assert my right to remain silent, I want a lawyer. I do not consent to any searches of myself, my car or any property. I do not consent to any tests except as required by DUI Implied Consent. If I am not under arrest, please let me go.”
Those are your rights and if you have had so much to drink that you can’t access your “Virginia DUI Lawyer” App or that you are looking at a bunch of Angry Birds on your phone, then maybe you are too drunk to be driving anyway.