Frequently Asked Questions of Our Knoxville Criminal Law Attorneys

What does it mean that I have the right to remain silent?

According to the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, we all have certain rights related to criminal proceedings. Among these is the right to not incriminate yourself, meaning you don’t have to answer right away any of the questions the arresting officer asks you. You are well within your rights to politely decline answering questions or to remain silent. The Supreme Court has also determined that you have the right to an attorney, so we encourage you not to speak with police until you have spoken with an attorney like one of the capable team at Menefee & Brown, P.C.

Should I take a Breathalyzer® or blood test at a DUI stop?

This is a tricky question, but one that can make a major difference in the DUI charge process. If you truly believe your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is below the legal limit of .08, then it is likely in your best interest to take the Breathalyzer® test. If you pass it, this will likely put an end to the entire situation. However, a DUI may carry more stringent penalties than refusing a test, so if you are likely to test well above the legal limit, you might be best served by simply declining a test and taking a one-year license suspension. If you have been charged with a DUI, always retain an attorney who understands the criminal process.

Should I let an officer search my vehicle?

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects us against unwarranted searches and seizures, so unless there is a search warrant, you have the right to refuse a search. We recommend that you exercise this basic right as a U.S. citizen, even if you believe you have nothing to hide.

If an unidentified officer stops me, should I comply with his or her instructions?

Unless you have committed an egregious violation, it is unlikely that an off-duty police officer will interact with you. Most police forces discourage off-duty personnel from engaging in police work, as it raises insurance liability issues for the police squad. Therefore, if an unidentified officer attempts to detain you, you may wish to ask him or her for identification in the form of a badge number and request that a uniformed, on-duty officer report to the scene before proceeding.

If I believe I have been erroneously pulled over or detained, what is my recourse?

If an identified policeman pulls you over or detains you, it is important that you comply with his or her instructions and be cooperative. Even if you feel you have done nothing wrong, uncooperative actions might exacerbate your situation and lead to potential charges, such as resisting arrest. If you are being treated unfairly, simply comply for the moment, and then retain a lawyer to help prosecute those who have acted inappropriately.

Contact one of our Knoxville, TN attorneys to have all of your criminal defense questions answered

The experienced legal team at Menefee & Brown, P.C. has the answers to your legal questions. Contact us online or at 865-357-9800 for a free consultation.