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Secrets of the Texas Criminal Justice System and Your Rights
Midland DUI stops can be nervewracking events. Many people are unfamiliar with their rights during these stops, and they may give police officers evidence that could be used against them later.
If you were arrest for a DUI, reach out to an experienced attorney who understands the procedures in play during DUI stops. They could examine the details of a case and exploit any misconduct for your benefit.
Factors Leading to a DUI Stop
There are only two things that officers look for when it comes to a DWI. First, they look to see if there is a traffic violation. Typically, these are things such as speeding. not using a blinker to change lanes, or not making a complete stop at a stop sign. In these situations, an officer typically would not have a suspicion that the person had been drinking, but they are just stopping them for a traffic violation.
Officers will also stop people if they have a reasonable suspicion that the person is driving while intoxicated. This suspicion could come from behaviors such as a failure to maintain a single lane or weaving within the lane in combination the time of day. Someone might weave within their lane at 4 o’clock in the afternoon and not get stopped, but if they do it at 2 o’clock in the morning around the bar area, an officer might have reasonable suspicion that they were driving while intoxicated.
Typical DUI Stop Process
During Midland DUI stops, the officer will approach the car, ask for the driver’s license and proof of insurance, and begin to have a conversation with the driver. At some point in time, the officer will ask if the person has been drinking. Once they ask that question, officers often ask lots of other questions and then ask the individual to get out of the vehicle. Once the person gets out, officers will typically move into the field sobriety tests.
Field Sobriety Tests
Field sobriety tests can include divided attention tasks and non-standardized tests such as the alphabet from G and to Q. A police officer may ask someone to count backward from a certain number. They may ask them to do two things at the same time, such as getting both their license and their insurance out. Those are what are often referred to as non-standardized tests. After the non-standardized tests, they will move into the three standardized field sobriety tests, which are the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, the walk and turn, and the one-legged stand.
Most of the time, officers will look for a reason to search someone’s vehicle. Drivers do not have to consent to anything, and attorneys encourage people not to consent to a search. The officer may search the vehicle anyways, but if a person consents, then they may waive the right to contest that search.
Implied consent is a law in the state of Texas that says whenever an individual gets their driver’s license or operates a motor vehicle, they agree that if they are arrested and asked to take a blood or breath test they will do it. To get a driver’s license, there has to be agreement. That does not mean someone has to do it, and that does not mean that the state can force someone to do it.
Rights During a DUI Stop
A person has a right, either before the arrest or after an arrest, to remain silent. They do not have to make any admissions to the officer. They need to be able to give the officer their driver’s license, name, correct date of birth, and insurance. They do not have to do any of the field sobriety tests nor answer any questions about drinking.
There is no fundamental right to an attorney during the pre-investigation phase. If the individual is arrested, then they will have the right to talk with an attorney. Typically, someone can call a lawyer after the arrest is done and the individual has been processed at the police station.
Seeking Help from a Dedicated Midland DUI Attorney
If you were arrested for a DUI, a veteran DUI defense attorney may be able to help. Attorneys have experience analyzing every detail in Midland DUI stops and searching for improper procedures. Let a seasoned lawyer fight for your rights.