MYTHS v. FACTS
Myth: They can not charge you with a DUI if do not blow.
Fact: They can charge you with a DUI if you do not blow. There are two different statutes for charging a DUI. The first is for a person that blows over a .08 and the second is one that just says that the person drove while under the influence. The reason to not blow is the second one his harder to prove.
Myth: The police can come in my house.
Fact: The police can not come in your house without a warrant unless there are exigent circumstances. If they do come in without a warrant they must prove in court there was no time to get a warrant; that can be difficult to do. You do not have to let the police in your house unless they have a warrant.
Myth: The police need a warrant to search your car.
Fact: The police do not need a warrant to search your car. Since a car is mobile the court has ruled they only need probable cause to search your car. You can ask what probable cause they have to search your car.
Myth: The police can not look on your person after stopping you.
Fact: The police can do a Terry pat down. What that means is that the police can pat you down for your own safety. While patting you down they can and do find drugs on people. If someone has drugs they should not carry it on them.
Myth: The police can not look into your car while stopping you.
Fact: If the police look into your car and see something in plain sight they do not need probable cause to search your car.
Myth: After a criminal case if you are found not guilty, the case is dropped or you get supervision the case is automatically expunged from your record.
Fact: Unless you file out the paperwork to expunge your record the arrest is still on your court record.
Myth: The judge or lawyer decides if you have a trial by jury or judge.
Fact: The defendant has the right to decided if they want a trial and if the trial will be decided by a jury or by a judge.
Myth: It is up to the defendant to come up with a reason why he is innocent.
Fact: The prosecutor has the burden of proof. They must show the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Myth: The defendant must testify at the trial.
Fact: The defendant has a right not to testify at the trial. Also the judge or jury is not allowed to hold the defendant's lack of testimony against him.
Myth: When the police ask me a question I must answer.
Fact: You have the right to remain silent. The only thing you must do when asked is identify yourself and handing the police your identification card will do that.
Myth: You do not need a lawyer until after the first court date.
Fact: As soon as you are arrested for any crime you need an attorney. Police can not question you when you have asked lawyer and have told them you want to remain silent. Also if you are being asked to go to the police station for questioning you might need a lawyer.