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What You Say Will Definitely Be Used Against You After a DUI Arrest

Jeff Cole
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Partner at Zimmer, Duncan & Cole

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You’ve heard it a million times on television: you have the right to remain silent. But it may surprise you that while most people know they have this right, very few use it—and the ones who don’t are more likely to give incriminating statements to an arresting officer.

What to Say (and What Not to Say) After You Are Arrested for DUI

Unfortunately, many drivers who attempt to cooperate with an officer end up giving evidence against themselves, setting themselves up to lose their case before it has even begun. Here are some guidelines to remember when talking to:

  • The police. The first thing to remember is that you do not have to provide the officer who stopped you with any more information than the stop requires. Police officers may ask for your driver’s license, vehicle registration, and proof of insurance; that is all the information you are legally obligated to provide. Any information you provide could be seen as an admission of fault. If the officer asks you if you had been drinking, you can politely refuse to answer the question. Saying you “only had one beer” gives the officer cause to investigate and charge you with possible DUI.
  • The guards. Many people continue to argue their case after they have been arrested by talking to guards and other officers in the police station. Some even become nervous while they are detained in jail, and become more talkative as they are left in a cell. The guards, other inmates, and anyone in the police station may ask you questions, and they can all be called as witnesses against you in court. Refrain from talking about what happened or answering any further questions until you can speak to a lawyer.
  • An attorney. Your conversations with an attorney are protected, so you can speak freely with your attorney to find out what your options are. You should look for an attorney who has experience with DUI cases and knows how to get charges dismissed, evidence ruled inadmissible, or charges against you reduced.
  • Everyone else. You will be given a phone call in jail, but even this call is not private. If you relay the story to a friend or family member, he or she can be asked about the content. Restrict the details of your call to the facts: where you are, that you are arrested, how much you will need for bail. Do not discuss your case with anyone but your criminal defense attorney—even after you are released on bail.

If you have been charged with DUI in South Dakota, you could potentially lose your driver’s license, face jail time, lose your job, and have the charge placed on your permanent criminal record. You only have a limited amount of time to get your license reinstated and get the charges against you dismissed, so it is important to get help from an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible after your arrest. To find out what the right attorney can do for you, contact Zimmer, Duncan and Cole, LLP today at 888-733-2992.


Category: Criminal Defense


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