Denial of right to counsel is an important defense for DUI cases. When being arrested, you always have a right to legal counsel, but it is particularly vital in the case of a DUI arrest. If you are prohibited from talking to an attorney which prevents you from obtaining his advice, your body will naturally eliminate the evidence of blood alcohol content that can be used for or against you. The police may tell you that your blood alcohol content is above the legal limit, but it may not be; in the meantime, your body is burning off the alcohol, making the determination more difficult.
David Cantor explains the DUI Defense of Denial of right to counsel:
The key cases on this issue are Holland v. State of Arizona, Juarez v. State of Arizona, McNut v. State of Arizona, Edwards v. State of Arizona and the latest one, Penney v. State of Arizona. In Edwards v. State of Arizona, which went up to the United States Supreme Court, Mr. Edwards said, “I think I should talk to a lawyer.” The Court said that was equivocal, or ambiguous, and Mr. Edwards needed to be unequivocal when requesting a lawyer. Instead, Edwards should have said “I want to talk to a lawyer” or “I need to talk to a lawyer.” The minute you say this, the police have to get you to a phone and a phonebook in a private area so you can talk to a lawyer.
The Holland v. State of Arizona case deals with eleven specific questions a lawyer will ask you. These include, “what did you drink?”; “when did you start drinking?”; “when did you stop drinking?”; “when was the last time you ate?” Certain information needs to be known so the lawyer can approximate what your blood alcohol content will be so you can decide whether to submit to a blood or breath alcohol test. The attorney will also be able to tell you to request to be released in order to get an independent chemical test at a hospital.
The additional guidance a lawyer can provide is important. A lawyer can tell you not to answer any further questions, not to do any further physical tests, and probably get a blood or breath test because the police will likely get a warrant for it and get a test by force. But if you’re stopped for a DUI and you request a lawyer but were not given a lawyer or the police were not quick to respond, contact our firm. You can set up an appointment at www.DMCantor.com or call 602-307-0808 at any time to get a Free Case Review. An initial consultation is free and takes just 30 minutes.
Be sure to visit our DUI case victories for a sampling of DUI cases we’ve won in Arizona.