There’s an old saying that “only the guilty ask for a lawyer.” That old saying has never been true. The right to legal representation is important whether you think you might be guilty or innocent. A lawyer is trained in the laws of the state and familiar with the legal process. Don’t you think its important to have a knowledgeable professional helping you when you are not familiar with a process? Well, when you’re arrested and your freedom is at stake, its just smart to have a DUI defense lawyer like David Clarke of Murfreesboro, TN. Your lawyer will protect you and preserve your rights.
Many people are afraid to exercise their constitutional right to a lawyer because they worry it will leave an impression of guilt. However, you are well within your full rights to calmly and politely request all conversations to take place in the presence of an attorney.
Don’t Jump The Gun
All that being said, it’s still important to pick the right time to request a lawyer. For example, suppose you’re driving and the police pull you over. Should you come to a complete stop, roll down your window, and demand a lawyer? No. Because the police officer has only stopped you and has not accused you yet of anything. Unless you’ve been arrested or taken into custody, you technically have no need for a lawyer at that time.
Now, if the police officer writes you a ticket for speeding or running a red light, you do have the option to hire an attorney then since you have received a physical record of the charge in question. If you are told that you are in custody or arrested, then you can state you will wait till you have an attorney and then do not talk anymore of the circumstances that led to the arrest.
What If the Police Ask you Questions
Now suppose you’ve been pulled over and the police officer starts asking if you’ve been drinking and driving. Do you need to request a lawyer at that point? Not yet. However it is important to remember that the officer is suspicious of crime, and you must not talk too much or answer questions which admit guilt. Again, at this point in the scenario, you still have not been arrested by the officer.
Keep in mind that answering questions or refusing to answer questions will not prevent arrest. The officer is asking questions to try and get you to confirm that you may have been drinking and are possibly impaired. If you provide an answer that admits you have been drinking, it is likely you will be arrested and makes their job easier.
The police officer might request you take a field sobriety test, which you do not have to do. The officer already has his suspicions and your cooperation may not help you and may in fact hurt your case.
Arrest and Representation
Once you’ve been arrested, that’s the time to ask for a lawyer. At that point, the situation has moved to a new phase of the investigation, since you are now actively being accused of a crime. You should not answer any further questions. You will be read your Miranda rights which specify your rights including the part about the right to remain silent and that you have the right to an attorney. If you find yourself in custody, do not discuss the situation which led to the arrest. Just state you will wait till you have spoken to an attorney. Now, you will not be provided an attorney right away, so you must be patient until you get the chance to make a call and get an attorney.
If you have been arrested for a DUI, call the Clarke Law Firm as soon as possible at (615) 796-6299. We will assist you as quickly as possible. A family member can also call us on your behalf if you are unable to.