What Does Police Accountability Look Like in a DUI Arrest?

We are often lead to believe that a DUI arrest is a fairly straightforward procedure: a police officer stops someone from driving, asks them to step out of the vehicle, runs some tests, then arrests the person. However, police officers are accountable to numerous arresting procedures during a DUI stop. Therefore, the general public should be able to identify the following actions police are accountable for.

Reasonable Suspicion

Police officers must have reasonable suspicion to pull someone over for a DUI arrest.

Common Reasonable Suspicions Include:

  • Not having your lights on
  • Not using turn signals
  • Swerving or other reckless driving

If a police officer did not have a reasonable suspicion as to why they pulled you over, later on in your case your criminal defense attorney can file a motion to suppress. Therefore, reasonable suspicion is a crucial aspect of DUI arrests.

Police Questioning

A police officer can ask you questions about your night and claim that the information will be “confidential” when, in fact, he or she can use that information against you in court. If an officer asks you how many drinks you had that night, then says “you can answer the question it won’t impact your case,” the reality is that it will impact your case and you shouldn’t answer the question.

Police cannot say that it is illegal to answer their questions; however, police will often try to get a suspect to admit to a crime by saying something like, “We know what happened, but if you obstruct our investigation, the DA will be a lot tougher on you." This statement implies that if you don’t answer a question, you will be charged for obstruction of justice. However, you have the right to remain silent, and this type of statement is a ploy to get you to give up your right.

The police can also say that an admission of guilt in the moment of questioning will ultimately help your case. However, police officers have no impact or say on your charges or case. In fact, the only job police officers have is to arrest and question you. Therefore, you should always stay silent, as a police officer’s lies are often protected by the law.

As you can see, a police officer is accountable for some things, but when it comes to questions and conversations, police officers have little accountability for their statements. Therefore, it is crucial that you obtain an experienced criminal defense attorney before you talk to anyone about your case.

Have you been accused of a crime? Call (720) 548-2990 now for a free consultation of your case!

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