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No. Interestingly enough, it’s the right to remain silent that people don’t fully understand in DUI cases, and therefore, fail to invoke it.
It seems that people, knowing they have a right to remain silent, will lie rather than remain silent. Lying and remaining silent are two completely different things with two completely different effects on a case.
A lie takes away from the client’s credibility. Lying also suggests to a jury that the defendant had some knowledge of his or her guilt.
In fact, if it is established through a trial that a defendant may have lied, the judge may instruct the jury to consider the lie as evidence that the defendant was aware of his guilt.
2. What does it mean to invoke the right to remain silent?
The police do not necessarily have to read a driver his or her Miranda rights after a DUI arrest. A warning is required only once an officer begins “custodial interrogation.” 1
Nevertheless, people stopped for a DUI have the right to remain silent, meaning they can refuse to answer any questions law enforcement asks.
In fact, a jury can’t ever be informed by any means that a defendant chose to remain silent.
DUI suspects should never be afraid to invoke the right. Cooperating with the police when you are the target of an investigation does not mean you have to speak to them. Call your attorney first or let the police know you “won’t answer any statements without an attorney present.”
If you are asked to perform ANYphysical field sobriety test after you are stopped on suspicion of DUI, then respectfully refuse to do that. That includes following an officer’s finger.
If you are asked to blow into a hand-held breathalyzer test before being placed under arrest, then you respectfully refuse to do so.
Lastly, be respectful while still staying strong. There is no reason to be rude to a police officer.
A former Los Angeles prosecutor, attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT). He has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Dr Phil, The Today Show and Court TV. Mr Shouse has been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Criminal and Top 100 Civil Attorneys.