Your Constitutional Rights

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Even when you are first stopped for DUI, you have a number of Constitutional protections in place.

You have a right not to answer any questions of the police officer.

In fact other than identifying yourself by providing your driver's license and confirming your name and address, I never urge anyone to answer additional questions of the officer.


You not only have a right to refuse the field sobriety test, but you should in fact always decline to do these.

These road side tests are completely voluntary. However, it is not uncommon for officers to imply they are required. Did the officer let you know that the tests he asked you to participate in were voluntary? These should never be performed. By and large, the tests which are administered in Washington by law enforcement are predominately those which are designed to see you fail. The truth is, most adults can not pass these tests without having had anything to drink. Likewise, blowing into the hand-held or portable breath test is completely voluntary as well and it should always be refused. This machine is highly inaccurate. In addition, an officer may want you to follow a pen light or his finger with your eyes. These test too is voluntary and should always be refused. Please let me know if you felt you were being directed to do any of these tests and had a reasonable belief that you were not entitled to refuse them.


You have a right to speak with an attorney before you make any final decision regarding providing a blood or breath sample.

In fact, the police must advise you that you have the right to speak with an attorney after your arrest. You must also be informed that an attorney can be immediately placed in touch with you at no cost to you no matter what time of day or night.


After the breath test has been performed, you not only have the right, upon your release, to have another test performed by a qualified person, it is highly recommended that you obtain a blood test from a hospital.


You have the right to have an attorney when your case commences from the time of your arraignment through the final disposition.

If you can not afford an attorney, you have the right to have one appointed for you free of charge. However, if you are in any position to hire private counsel, you most certainly should seek out a DUI defense attorney. If you find yourself in this position, please call me today at (253) 848-7788. In addition, you have the right to have a jury of your peers and a speedy and public trial by these peers. In fact, you are presumed innocent in all stages of the trial until a plea of guilty or a finding of guilty by a jury of your peers. The State or City who is charging you is required to prove your guilt and prove that guilt beyond any reasonable doubt. You also have the right to confront witnesses who testify against you and to call witnesses on your on behalf to testify at trial. You also have the right to testify or not to testify as well as the right to appeal any conviction or sentence as a result of your DUI charge.


In short, you have a lot of options in your DUI case. In fact, in many areas you have a distinct advantage. You are guaranteed under our State and Federal Constitutions these rights and whichever agency is prosecuting you has a high burden of proof to establish your guilt. Use these to your advantage! Call me today at (253) 848-7788.

Email Attorney John Fuhrman Feel free to get in touch with your questions and we will get back to you as soon as possible.


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