Your Rights Regarding a DUI or DWI in New York Explained by Nassau County DWI Lawyer
From an initial traffic stop through breathalyzer tests, arrest, arraignment and trial, you have a set of rights at every stage guaranteed to you by the U.S. and New York constitutions and state law. Contacting a Long Island DUI attorney as soon as possible after an arrest gives you the greatest ability to protect those rights, or to represent you adequately if any of those rights have been violated. Read on to learn more about your rights regarding DUI arrests in New York, and call 888-DUI-LAWYER after a Long Island DWI or DWAI arrest.
Your Rights at Traffic Stops
The constitution gives you rights and protections during any search or arrest. Some of these rights extend even to traffic stops and DUI stops. The police officer must have some reason to stop you in the first place, such as observing swerving or other possible signs of drunk driving, any type of traffic violation such as speeding or failing to signal, or a mechanical defect like a broken headlight or taillight. If the police stop you for a moving violation, they should not detain you any longer than is necessary. Often times traffic stops are improper from the very start, or exceed their scope and authority by going on for an unreasonable period of time.
Your Rights at DUI Checkpoints
When the police have set up DUI checkpoints or roadblocks, they are allowed to test drivers for drinking and driving without any individualized suspicion. However, DUI checkpoints must be conducted in a certain way according to established guidelines in order to be valid and unconstitutional.
Your Right to Refuse a Field Sobriety Test
If you are pulled over and the police believe you may have been drinking but do not have enough grounds to arrest you and give you a breathalyzer test, they may try to get you to submit to a number of roadside tests of your physical coordination or mental acuity. These tests do not provide scientific evidence of intoxication, but they nearly always can be interpreted to give the police enough grounds to require a chemical test. You should have the right to refuse these tests without any legal consequences, although you may still be arrested if the police develop other grounds that give them sufficient cause.
Your Right to Refuse a Chemical Test
Even though you may be required by law to take a chemical test of your blood, breath or urine after a DUI arrest, you still have the right to refuse the test, except in limited circumstances such as an injury-causing car accident. Before administering the test, the police should explain the New York DUI implied consent law, including your right to refuse the test along with the consequences for refusing. Bear in mind that refusing this test leads to a one-year revocation of your driver’s license, and the fact of your refusal can be used against you in court, but you still have the right to refuse if you so choose.
Your Right to a Hearing Before Your License is Revoked
If you do refuse to take a chemical test, the law directs that your license be revoked for a year, but you have the right to demand a hearing before this action is taken.
Your Right to Representation
The most important right of all is your right to legal advice and representation at all critical stages of an arrest and prosecution. This includes not only representation in plea bargaining or at trial, but also at your arraignment, or at a hearing on a license revocation. You should even be allowed to phone your attorney before agreeing to submit to a chemical test at the police station, if you so desire.
Call 888-DUI-LAWYER after a Long Island DWI Arrest and Speak to a DWI Lawyer Today
For zealous advocacy and protection of your rights, and to achieve the best result possible after a Long Island DWI arrest, call 888-DUI-LAWYER for a free consultation with a knowledgeable and experienced Nassau County DUI attorney.