If you have never been pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence of intoxicants (DUII) in Oregon, it’s difficult to know what to expect. You may have been pulled over in the past for speeding or not stopping at a stop sign, but being pulled over for a DUII will look different from these other routine traffic stops. It’s possible your ideas of what to expect have come from something you saw on a dramatized TV show, for example. If you are pulled over for a possible DUII, it’s important to know your rights and how to express them.
Know Your Rights When Pulled Over for a DUII
Always pull over safely, right away. Pulling over carefully will help prevent an erratic or irresponsible driving charge to the report, which could be used against you in court. When you’re pulled over, you must provide the officer with your driver’s license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance. After that, you have the right to:
- Remain silent
- Refuse a sobriety test
- Refuse a breath test
- Refuse a search of your vehicle
- Have a lawyer present
- Refuse to answer questions
If you choose to exercise your right to remain silent, refuse a search of the vehicle or answer questions, it’s important to be firm, yet polite for the officer and do not engage. These rights exist to protect you. It’s recommended that you don’t refuse a breath test, as your license will be automatically suspended for one year. This is a non-negotiable penalty, but you do have the right to refuse a breath test.
If you are stopped by the police in Oregon, stay calm and in control of your words, body language and emotions. Anything you say or do can be used against you in court. Don’t argue with or antagonize officers. If you tell the officer they are wrong, be sure to do so in a non-confrontational way, so as not to intensify the situation. Always keep your hands where police can see them and don’t ever touch them.
If an officer requests to search your vehicle, but sure to say, “I do not consent to this search,” in order to protect yourself later. If you arrest, your car will be subject to a search. If you think you may be over the legal limit, don’t try to lie as this will make the situation worse. Say as little as possible when you’re pulled over for a DUII in Oregon.
What to Do If You are Arrested for DUII in Central Oregon
You have the right to speak to a lawyer before talking to the police. You don’t have to tell the police anything except your name and address. Don’t provide the police with any explanations, excuses or stories that may be used against you later. You will build your defense with your lawyer based on what they determine is the best course of action.
If you have a lawyer, you may ask to see them immediately. If you can’t afford a lawyer, you have the right to a free one once your case goes to court and you may ask the police how to contact a lawyer. You do not have to say anything to the police without speaking to a lawyer first. Do not make any decisions about your case or sign any statements without first speaking with a lawyer.
After you have been arrested, wait a reasonable amount of time after the arrest or booking to contact a family member or friend. If you are permitted to make a phone call at the precinct, anything you say may be recorded or listened to. Remember, never talk about the facts of your case over the phone.
Ask for a Lawyer Immediately
If you are arrested for a DUII in Oregon, ask for a lawyer immediately. Don’t try to explain your situation without a lawyer present, as this may harm your case. While under arrest, you are entitled to have a DUI attorney present for any questioning by police officers. If a police officer begins to question you, you may tell them you won’t answer any questions without an attorney present and they must stop. You also have the right to hire an attorney of your choice.
If you are pulled over and arrested for a DUII in Oregon, call Nelson Law immediately. Nelson Law specializes in DUII defense in Deschutes, Jefferson and Crook Counties. Add Nelson Law’s phone number, 541-408-5371, to your contacts and call as soon as you have been arrested for DUII in Central Oregon.