Right to Counsel - DWI and the Breathalyzer

Ask for an Attorney!

When accused of a crime it is very important to ask for an attorney. The goal of the police is to collect evidence that can be used against an accused at trial. The best criminal defense attorneys always tell there clients to request an attorney if under a police investigatio. The police will go to great lengths to get a statement from an accused but the best statement is "I want a lawyer"

BAC Test and Request for an Attorney

In People v Mora-Hernandez, 77 AD3d 531, the court properly suppressed the results of the defendant's BAC test and a videotape of the test because the officers violated the defendant's right to counsel.

When a defendant who is arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI) and asks for an attorney he has the right to consult with an attorney before deciding whether to take a sobriety test.

By ignoring the defendant's request for counsel before they administrated the test, the police prevented him from contacting his attorney even though there was no indication that granting the request would have substantially interfered with the investigation.

In the case there was no proof the defendant ever abandoned his request for an attorney.