Your Rights If You Are Arrested
Arrested for a DUI? Know Your Legal Rights
Being pulled over by the police and arrested for a DUI can be a frightening experience. While your initial reaction may be to panic, it is important to stay calm and recognize that you have many important rights and protections under the law. As an experienced DUI lawyer, Gus Soto fights to protect the rights of individuals who have been arrested for driving under the influence in North Florida and South Georgia, including Valdosta. Individuals who have been arrested for a DUI often make critical mistakes by saying or doing something that makes their situation even worse. While you should always show respect and listen to the law enforcement officials, you still have many legal rights, including:
- The Right to Remain Silent. When you are arrested for a DUI, you have the right to remain silent. While your first instinct may be to try and convince the officer that you are innocent, your attempts to do so are likely to hurt your case rather than help it. Under the 5th Amendment, when the police make an arrest, they must advise you of your right to remain silent before they can begin questioning you. Your right to remain silent is a very important right – make sure that you take advantage of it.
- The Right to have Independent Chemical Testing. When you are stopped by the police in Florida or Georgia for a suspected DUI and agree to blow into the Intoxilyzer Machine (breathalyzer) or submit to blood or urine testing, you have the right to have your own independent blood, urine or breath sample taken at your own expense. While most people are unaware of this right, an independent chemical test can be critical to your defense, particularly if you believe the officer did not perform your test correctly or the machine was not working properly.
- The Right to an Attorney. When you are arrested for a DUI, you have the constitutional right to an attorney. If you are thinking that you do not need a lawyer because a DUI is “just a minor offense,” you are making a big mistake. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a serious crime in both Florida and Georgia. A DUI can cost you your driver’s license and thousands of dollars in fines and you may even be ordered to spend significant time in prison. You cannot afford to fight your arrest alone. Attorney Gus Soto is an experienced Valdosta DUI lawyer who will advise you of your rights and aggressively defend your case throughout all stages of legal process.
- The Right to a Trial. Under Florida law if your criminal case ends up going to court, the trial will generally be held before a jury. If you are in Georgia and your case proceeds to trial, you will generally have the right to choose between a jury trial or a bench trial (trial by a judge). In the event that your Georgia DUI case starts in municipal court and you want to have a trial by jury, you will have to make a request to have your case transferred to state court. Since a DUI conviction can have serious consequences, you need to make certain that your lawyer knows how to try and win a DUI case. Attorney Gus Soto is an experienced DUI defense lawyer who has tried over 200 jury and non-jury DUI cases.
Do Not Delay - Contact Attorney Gus Soto Today
If you have been arrested for a DUI, it is important for you to be aware your legal rights. Attorney Gus Soto is an experienced drunk driving lawyer who will explain your rights and guide you through the legal system. You can contact DUI defense lawyer Gus Soto today for a free consultation in any of his four office locations: Valdosta, Thomasville, Tallahassee and Panama City.