Know your rights: Avoid an OUI conviction

An OUI conviction can follow you through life.

If you’ve been arrested for drunk driving, it’s easy to feel hopeless and scared. However, a conviction can follow you through life and it’s important to explore your options before you simply plead guilty. In my 40-year experience as a criminal defense lawyer, I have seen many arrests that haven’t resulted in convictions.<

Here are a few things you should know about your rights:

  • Oftentimes, police use “field sobriety tests” to attempt to establish you are driving drunk. If you are not in good shape, are nervous, or have any physical impairments, you will likely not do well on these tests, even if you have not been drinking.
  • Police can’t make you take tests; you have the right to refuse to take them.
  • Your refusal to perform these tests cannot be used against you in court.
  • You have to provide your license and registration to the police; you must identify yourself, but you do not have to answer any other questions, such as have you been drinking, have you been drinking tonight, where have you been, etc.
  • Tell the office you want to talk to a lawyer before answering any other questions. Do not be argumentative; simply and firmly assert your rights.
  • If you are arrested you can answer basic questions such as where you live, work, marital status, etc., but need not answer other questions about the case.

A conviction can follow you through life. Do not just give up and plead guilty. Many arrests do not result in a conviction. Contact us at O’Connor and Ryan, P.C. at 978-534-1301.

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