Interviewer: Do you find that most of your clients did ask for an attorney? Are they refused typically or not?
Brian Sloan: Most people don’t realize that they have that option, that they have that right. They also tend to disregard that, despite being told by the officer when they read Miranda rights, that they a right to remain silent. Anything they can say will be used against them in a court of law.
Another Right to Remember to Exercise: You Have the Right to Remain Silent During a DUI Investigation
They have the right to the presence of an attorney and if they cannot afford one, one will be provided for them. People don’t seem to process that. They don’t realize that they can respectfully decline to answer questions. They don’t realize that they can ask for an attorney. They tend to answer questions and the information they provide tends to be the most damning evidence against them.
What You Say Will Be Used Against You During the Trial
In probably 85 percent of the DUI cases, the suspects themselves are their own worst enemies. The authorities may have a good case based on the facts as the officer reports them, but it’s people’s own supposed admissions that really come back to haunt them.
One of the bigger issues that arise during questioning is when the officers will say, or ask the person, to rate themselves on a scale of zero to ten or one to ten. Zero being completely sober, ten being falling down drunk. How would you rate yourself at the time of driving?
It is amazing how many people will, for whatever reason, answer two, three, four, five or six. Some people will even answer ten. This is extremely damning because it’s supposedly your own statement admitting that you felt that you were impaired to the slightest degree by alcohol.
When the case goes to trial, the prosecutor has to prove that the person was driving and that they were impaired to even the slightest degree by alcohol. Driving usually isn’t going to be an issue. If the officer says you were driving, chances are you’re going to agree that you were driving, so the issue becomes, “Were you impaired to the slightest degree?”
It’s that one admission where the person has rated themselves whatever number on a scale of zero to ten that is going to be extremely damning and difficult to overcome. It’s important, if someone did answer that way to present some sort of motion to suppress the admission or to argue that there’s some sort of Miranda violation. That makes for a much better case.