Your Rights After Arrest
As a citizen of the United States it is imperative that you are aware of your rights during an arrest. If you are not aware of your basic constitutional rights, you run the risk of harming your defense or of wrongful accusation. Understanding your basic rights will best prepare you for properly handling yourself when dealing with police during a stop.
After an arrest, you have the right to remain silent. This right applies to everyone accused of a crime in Georgia, even if you are an illegal alien. This right is of the utmost importance, as even the simplest statements you make to a law enforcement officer during an arrest are certain to be used against you in court. One of the the biggest mistake an arrested individual often makes is speaking with an officer and innocently making a statement that all but guarantees his/her conviction. Beyond providing the police with your identification information and your driver’s license, you do not have to answer any questions – including when, where, how much, and even whether you have been drinking. Remember , every question law enforcement asks you is for the purpose of assessing their ability to establish probable cause to arrest you.
The right to refuse a chemical blood alcohol test
In Georgia, there are certain laws that are commonly referred to as the Implied Consent laws. Under the Implied Consent Laws, it is presumed that if you drive in the State of Georgia, you have consented to a chemical blood test. As a result, if you refuse to take a State administered test, even if you are not under the influence, your license will be automatically suspended. While this is a harsh penalty, it may still be in your best interest to refuse a blood alcohol test if you suspect that your Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) is likely to test high as the lack of a test reduces the amount of evidence against you.
In the state of Georgia, you are deemed to be over the limit if: you are under 21 and your BAC is .02% or more; you are 21 or over and your BAC is .08% or more; or you’re a commercial driver and your BAC is .04% or more. However, it is important to note that, even if your blood alcohol concentration is lower than the legal limit, you can still face a DUI conviction under the proposition that you are a “less safe” driver.
The right to refuse a field sobriety test
Similarly, you also have a right to refuse a field sobriety test in addition to State administered chemical tests. While these tests are generally considered non-scientific and may not necessarily harm your DUI defense, you have a right to refuse such tests, and you may wish to do so if you believe you will not able to successfully complete them.
If you have been charged with a DUI offense, it is important to seek legal counsel as quickly after your arrest as possible. Our attorneys will respond to your call right away, so please, contact us now at 770-692-5020.