Jump to Navigation

DUI: Know Your Rights

Society today considers driving under the influence (DUI) to be one of the more serious crimes, and recently new laws have been put in place to increase the severity and immediacy of penalties. However, none of these new laws have the power to strip away your rights, including your Constitutional and established common-law rights. By knowing your rights at the moment of the traffic stop and working to preserve your rights immediately after the stop, you can protect your liberty, your license, and your reputation from the damage of a DUI conviction, if you act quickly.

If you are currently facing a DUI charge, you need the help of an experienced lawyer.In central Mississippi, contact the Law Offices of Mel Coxwell right away.

The Traffic Stop : Your Rights

When you are pulled over for a traffic violation or for suspicion of DUI in Central Mississippi, you have certain rights. First, remember your Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. You are not required to discuss where you have been or where you are going. Even without "taking the Fifth," you can avoid self-incrimination. For example, you do not have to participate in any roadside "sobriety tests," such as:

  • Following a light with your eyes
  • Standing on one leg
  • Walking a line
  • Portable breath test

These tests are used by police to establish probable cause for a blood, urine or breathe alcohol test, and can be politely refused. However, remember always to treat the officer with proper respect and never forcibly resist the officer. Once an officer establishes probable cause, a driver is required to take a blood, urine or breathe alcohol test or face serious penalties, including additional license suspension.

It is only when the officer has probable cause to believe that you are driving a motorized vehicle under the influence of alcohol that Mississippi's implied consent law comes into play. Please see implied consent section of our Mississippi DUI page.

Your Rights after the Stop

When you are arrested by the police for a DUI, you have the right to independent testing of your blood-alcohol level. We can help you get independent testing and to see whether the test performed by the police was legal and properly administered. You also have the right to have an attorney present during all questioning, and may refuse to answer any questions unless an attorney is there.

If your license has been suspended, you have a right to appeal the administrative suspension. However, this appeal must be made as quickly as possible. In Mississippi, you have only ten days to file an administrative appeal.

By remembering and protecting your rights during and after a traffic stop, you may be able to protect yourself from the legal and personal ramifications of a DUI conviction. In addition, you need the help of an experienced DUI lawyer to fight the conviction to the maximum extent possible. Please call or email the Law Offices of Mel Coxwell today.

Being arrested for DUI in Mississippi is a serious situation. If you are charged with DUI, you want to retain a knowledgeable DUI attorney as soon after your arrest as possible. The law offices of Mel Coxwell specialize in handling DUI cases. Please contact the experienced DUI attorneys at the Law Offices of Mel Coxwell today to protect your rights. We serve the Brandon and Jackson, Mississippi areas.