When “Right to Remain Silent” Should be Invoked

As a Massachusetts OUI/DUI defense attorney, I cannot stress enough the importance of one’s right to remain silent. If you have been ordered out of your car by a police officer for suspicion of operating under the influence of alcohol, usually this is the time to invoke your right to remain silent. You are not required to answer any questions, and you are NOT required to perform any “Field Sobriety Tests.” While the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles may suspend your license if you refuse to submit to a post-arrest breathalyzer, there is absolutely no criminal penalty or RMV consequences for declining the Field Sobriety Tests. In most cases, the less information you provide to police during an initial investigation, the less potentially incriminating evidence they can gather before you have the opportunity to speak with an experienced OUI attorney.

In keeping up with Massachusetts OUI news, I read about a case last week in which a 40 year old Weymouth man was pulled over after leaving the scene of an accident. In addition to being charged with Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol, he was also charged with child endangerment while operating under the influence of alcohol, a separate charge that carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 3 months and up to 2 1/2 years in jail, after it was discovered that his 6 year old daughter was in the car at the time of the accident.

And now comes the time to “remain silent”……

When police stopped him, he allegedly stumbled out of the car. When asked about his daughter, Tompkins said that it wasn’t his 6-year-old daughter in the car, it was his 17-year-old girlfriend.….Police called Tompkins’ wife who picked up the child.

If you have been arrested or summonsed to court for Operating Under the Influence or any other criminal charge in Massachusetts, contact my office for your free initial consultation:

Law Offices of Benjamin P. Urbelis, P.C.
1211 Commonwealth Ave.
Boston, MA 02134
P: (617) 206- 4828
F: (617) 507- 8188