Transcript of Episode 008 “Ask a Lawyer with Joey Franks” – Do I Have to Do a Breath or Blood Test?

Do I have to take a breath test or a give blood if I get pulled over for a DUI?

Attorney Franks: Well, you can always refuse. Breath tests happen all the time but not so much with blood tests. Blood tests are rare, unless there’s been an accident. Rather than a blood test, they would do a urine test, however. You can refuse all testing which will get you a DUI Refusal charge instead. So, you can refuse, but that opens another can of worms and your license will be suspended for 90 days, no matter what.

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Let’s say I get a get a DUI. What procedures should I follow?

Attorney Franks:  Right away, write down what happened for your records. Otherwise you forget the important details you need to communicate with your lawyer. Do that as soon as you can, before anything else. Right away, when you get out of jail, get a notebook and go to a coffee shop and write everything down. What were the road conditions, time of day, weather conditions, name of the cop who pulled you over, tests they did and anything else you can think of? If you don’t know all the terms for the tests, simply describe what they did. Then contact my office and get an appointment to see me. Bring all the paperwork you have including paperwork from the cops and the jail. Bring bondsman paperwork if you got it. If charged with a DUI, that’s always the first steps.

What if I said I was guilty?

Attorney Franks:  First of all, have you really pled guilty? You have to be before a judge and tell him or her that you are entering a guilty plea. But, then the judge is going to ask if you’re doing this of your own free will and accord and knowingly and intelligently. They will also explain your rights. If those procedures have not happened, then you have not pled guilty. You still have the right to a lawyer and they can try to get you something better.  Some prosecutors won’t listen to something different, but we’re going to give it a shot. And really, it may not be so bad. If in reality there is a guilty plea from you, we’ve got 30 days to appeal a lower court ruling and we can go the county or circuit court, depending on where we are. That being said, if there’s a guilty plea, procure an aggressive criminal justice attorney in Jackson MS right away so we can try to remedy the situation because there’s not a whole lot we can do after 30 days.

For a DUI, what’s the absolute worst penalty I could get?

Attorney Franks: It all depends because we have five DUI-related charges. If you refuse to take the test, then you get a DUI Refusal and a 90-day license suspension of your license. DUI First will put you in jail for 48 hours and has a fine up to $1000 dollars and a 90 days driver’s license suspension. For a DUI Second, you get 5 days in jail and there’s a pretty hefty fine and you could lose your driver’s license for up to a year. A DUI Third offense is one to five years in jail and it’s the same for subsequent offenses. But the huge one is Aggravated DUI. Aggravated DUI entails that you hurt someone while you were impaired and driving a car in Mississippi. 25 years in jail is what you’re looking at for that one.