Wrong! Judges and prosecutors expect a defendant to plead not guilty at the initial stages of a prosecution. There are a number of preliminary court appearances that a defendant must make that are strictly procedural in nature. These include the Initial Appearance, Preliminary Hearing and Arraignment. The Arraignment date is what actually starts the official process moving and it cannot happen until after the formal charges have been filed. In State court, the prosecutor is required to file the Trial Information which sets out the charges and evidence believed to support the charge. This must be filed within 45 days of the defendant's arrest. If it is not, the charge must be dismissed. In most cases, a judge will not allow a defendant to plead guilty until after the Arraignment has taken place, even if they want to.
I will lose my driving privileges if I refuse to do field sobriety tests or the preliminary breath test out at the roadside.
An individual is not required to perform field sobriety tests or a preliminary breath test on the roadside. Iowa law does not allow for a person's driver's license to be disqualified as a result of refusing any of the requested tests out in the "field." It is the test request at the station that can have an impact on the person's driving privilege. That is the only test request that can affect driving privileges one way or the other. Officers will often times prey on peoples ignorance of these facts and use verbal judo in an attempt to get a person who was initially unwilling to perform fields to ultimately consent to the testing. While the person may be arrested if they do not perform those tests, the officer already has in his mind that the person will be arrested whether they take the tests or refuse. That is precisely why he is requesting that the person take the field sobriety tests.
I wasn't read my rights, the case should be dismissed.
A police officer is required to read a suspect their "rights" ("you have the right to remain silent anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to a lawyer and to have him present during any questioning. If you cannot afford to hire a lawyer one will be appointed to represent you before any questioning, if you wish. You can decide at any time to exercise these rights at any time and chose not to answer any questions or make any statements.") after they have taken the person into custody and want to ask them questions that may result in an incriminating response. In the event that the officer fails to give a person their Miranda warnings, the entire case does not get dismissed. Rather only the incriminating statements that the person makes to the police and any evidence obtained as a result of those statements would be declared inadmissible at the trial.
I have the right to wait 2 hours before taking the test.
A person suspected of driving while intoxicated does not have the absolute right to wait two (2) hours before deciding whether or not to take the chemical test. A police officer must request that the person submit to chemical testing within at least two (2) hours after the person has been arrested or failed or refused the preliminary breath test, whichever occurred first. The person does however, have an absolute right to contact, consult and/or see and attorney, family member, or both. All in all, a person has the right to a reasonable opportunity to consult with an attorney for family member but that may not interfere with the officer's time within which to request the test. If the person is not making a good faith effort to communicate with an attorney for family member, then the officer may require a decision much sooner.
I have the right to choose what type of test I'm given.
The police officer actually gets to choose which type of test is administered to someone arrested for operating while intoxicated. He may choose blood, breath or urine. A person has the absolute right to refuse to give blood in normal OWI investigations without their driving privileges being disqualified as a result. In these situations, the officer must then follow up with a request for breath or urine. A person does however, have the absolute right to an independent test of their choosing if they first take the police officer's test. The person must make the request for an independent test and be willing to pay for it at their own expense.
If I'm not caught driving I can't be charged with DUI.
An operating while intoxicated charge can be proven by both direct and indirect evidence. This means that the police do not actually have to catch the person behind the wheel of the vehicle in order to charge then with drunk driving. If the person appears in an intoxicated condition when the police come into contact with them, admits to driving earlier and claims not to have consumed any alcohol since driving, that person may be charged with operating while intoxicated because there becomes they admit to driving and being in a similar condition at the time they drove the vehicle. A person's own admissions can often times be the State's best piece of evidence.
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