THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS “NO REFUSAL.” That’s just a marketing campaign by police and prosecutors trying to intimidate you and improve their chances of convicting you in court.
You do have legal rights when the police confront you. If you are stopped, detained, questioned or arrested by police, here is what Texas and federal law allows you to do:
- No talking. Do not answer any questions. Only give your name and address. Just say, “I do not wish to answer any questions.”
- No tests. Do not do any field sobriety tests. In particular, never do any test that involves following a pen with your eyes; walking nine steps heel-to-toe on a line; or standing on one leg for 30 seconds. These tests are rigged and even a sober person can fail! Just say, “I do not wish to do any tests.”
Also: Do not take a breath test. Do not agree to a blood test. Make police get a search warrant to draw your blood. Unless a judge signs a valid search warrant, the police generally have no right to take your blood. However, you should never struggle or physically fight a blood test or any search. Simply tell the police officer, “I don’t agree to this.” Then let your lawyer argue in court about whether the warrant was valid.**
Just say, “I do not wish to take a breath test (or give a blood sample).”
- No searches. Do not let police search your vehicle, home, apartment, hotel room or place of business without a search warrant! However, you should never fight or argue. Just tell the police officer, “I don’t agree to this search.”
- Ask for a lawyer. Keep asking for a lawyer. Ask repeatedly — even if police won’t let you talk to one. You can never hurt yourself by asking for a lawyer. Just say, “I request a lawyer.”
** Refusing a breath or blood test may result in a driver’s license or permit suspension. But so could failing a breath or blood test. A breath- or blood-test failure could also hurt your case in court. Remember when it comes to police tests, it is usually better to refuse than risk failing.
That’s it! Now help spread the word about how easy it is to stand up for your rights and possibly improve your chances for success in court. Forward this page to your friends and then save it to your mobile device and desktop.
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Disclaimer: This web page and contents of how2refuse.com and www.fschwartzlaw.net are not legal advice and do not create an attorney-client relationship. This web page and contents of how2refuse.com and www.fschwartzlaw.net contain basic information for people who want to know their rights and how to exercise those rights. Information herein applies only to police encounters in Miami, Florida. If you have been stopped, questioned or arrested in a criminal matter, you should contact your own attorney for advice.