Legal Question in Constitutional Law in Connecticut

If you are taken into custody for a criminal offense and ask for clarification of your rights and the implications of refusing a breathilizer, signing documents admitting guilt, and that you need to understand what is being asked of you, either by a lawyer or the arresting officer, and they refuse to tell you or let you find legal council of some form, ... if you ask 'why am i not allowed' is that policemen allowed to say 'because i say so' and and and you tell him 'that is not an adequate explanation', to which responds 'yes it is', if you then ask 'what law gives him that authority' and he keeps saying ' because ' or ' because i say so ' is that a failure to warn of miranda rights or mistreatment in some way, like failure to uphold his duty by not allowing me my constiturional rights?

Asked on 10/27/13, 11:07 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Edward Hoffman Law Offices of Edward A. Hoffman

The arresting officer doesn't have to give you legal advice, which seems to be what you expect him to do. He would have to let you contact a lawyer if you were in custody and being questioned, or being asked to sign an admission of guilt. If he refused to do so, you would have a good argument that any resulting answers or admissions should be excluded from evidence. (There are exceptions to this rule, though. For example, if someone else is in danger and the police need your info quickly in order to rescue him, they can make you answer questions without letting you get a lawyer first.)

But the same is not true of submitting to a breathalyzer test. Those tests are time-sensitive, since your body is metabolizing any alcohol in your system. The longer you delay, the less reliable the results will be. The officer does not have to let you spend time finding a lawyer and discussing your rights with her. And he doesn't have to keep explaining himself until you're satisfied.

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Answered on 10/28/13, 11:36 am

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