Understanding a DUI Stop and Your Constitutional Rights

If you have been pulled over by a police officer and have been accused of driving under the influence, it is important to understand the laws regarding DUI and constitutional rights available to you in Phoenix, AZ. Attorney James E. Novak is an expert in constitutional law and has been fighting for the rights of his clients for many years. Since DUIs are a specialized area of the law, your constitutional rights in a DUI stop are different from other areas of the law. As soon as you are pulled over and the officer suspects you of driving under the influence, you have the right to ask for an attorney. If you have been accused of a DUI, contact the Law Office of James Novak as soon as possible to discuss legal representation.

Since DUIs are a specialized area of the law, your constitutional rights in a DUI stop are different from other areas of the law.

Man handing his driver's license to a police officer.


What Are My Constitutional Rights If Accused of DUI?

Several rights are available to you if you are pulled over and accused of driving under the influence. Exercising these rights can make the difference in the potential dismissal of your case.

  • Right to an attorney: When you are pulled over and suspected of driving under the influence, you have the right to ask for an attorney. This right applies to DUIs since the primary evidence against you—your BAC levels—is temporary. If your attorney is present, he can document everything and use it to build a strong defense for your case. Your attorney can take photographs or video showing whether your test was administered within the two hour timeframe, whether there were any problems with the machine, and whether you exhibited signs of impairment such as bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, or staggered walking.
  • Field sobriety test: Under Arizona law, you do not have to submit to a field sobriety test (FST). It is strongly advised that you do not, since many people can struggle with this test even when they are sober, and the officer is the judge of whether you seem impaired.
  • Breath test: You do not have to submit to a breath test unless you are arrested. Once you are under arrest, you must submit to a breath test to avoid having your license suspended, regardless of whether you are convicted of a DUI.
  • Answering questions: You do not have to answer any of the officer’s questions except those regarding your license, residency, insurance, and registration. It is strongly advised that you avoid telling the officer how many drinks you have had.
  • Fourth Amendment Rights: The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution protects you from unlawful search and seizure. If you believe the officer does not have probable cause to search your vehicle, you have the right to calmly refuse the search. If the officer conducts the search without probable cause and without your consent, your attorney can use this information to potentially have any evidence obtained through the unlawful search thrown out. As a result, your case may be dismissed.

Contact The Law Office of James E. Novak

It is important to not only understand your constitutional rights but to properly exercise those rights. Requesting an attorney as soon as you are accused of a DUI can have a dramatic impact on the course of your case. Contact The Law Office of James Novak today to discuss your case.

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