Can you request an attorney before taking a breathalyzer?

This is a common question and attorney Walter Reaves answers in this short, informative video. If you have any questions or need an experienced DWI lawyer, contact our office at (254) 296-0020 or fill out the contact form. Also, check out our free book, DWI Arrest Survival Guide.

 

Transcript:

One of the questions we get fairly often is whether or not you have the right to consult with a lawyer before you decide to take either a breath or a blood test. Most people assume the answer is yes because generally, you have the right to talk to a lawyer before you answer questions or before you are interviewed by the police. But as with most things in the law, the answer to this particular question is not what you would think it is, it's not the answer that common sense suggests it should be. And the reason for that is that all the law requires, and what the Supreme Court has held, is that you have the right to talk to a lawyer before being questioned.

So, if you're taken to the police station and questioned about something, you have to be given the Miranda Warnings, which are what you see recited all the time on TV shows. You have the right to remain silent, you have the right to have an attorney with you and all of those particular rights. Those rights only apply to somebody that's in custody and being interrogated. The courts have held that the request for a blood or breath sample is not considered interrogation. In other words, they aren't asking you questions, they aren't asking you whether you're drunk and questioning you about what all you've done. Instead, they're just asking you to take a test. Of course, the results of that test are probably going to determine whether or not they are going to be able to, are they going to arrest you and whether or not you can be charged with DWI. But, it's not the same as interrogation, it's not the same as questioning, at least according to the court.

So, the short and the simple answer is you can ask to talk to a lawyer before you take the test but they're gonna tell you no. So, you don't have the right to do that, you need to be prepared and you need to know what your answer is and how you're gonna answer that before you get asked the question. This is just one of the legal tips we're providing. Check back often and if you have something that you want to suggest, or you have a question that you'd like to have answered, please reach out through our website, www.reaveslegal.com or send an email to me at [email protected] Thanks for watching.