Know Your Rights

Honolulu DUI Lawyer Who Will Fight For Your Rights and Protect your Future.

What are my rights?

You do not have to take Field Sobriety Tests.

You do not have to take a Preliminary Alcohol Screening.

You do not have to take a chemical breath or blood test.  If you refuse, however, you will be subject to double the amount of time for your administrative driver's license revocation period.  Mr. Holcomb has had overwhelming success, however, in having the refusal time periods reduced.

You do have to stop when instructed by a police officer.

You do have to step out of the vehicle if the police officer instructs you.  However, if he or she asks you if you will or wish to take Field Sobriety Tests, you may politely say "no."

Remain polite.  You can revoke your right to remain silent immediately.  You can politely tell the officer that you do not wish to answer any questions and ask him to please contact your lawyer.  Do not resist.  If the police think you have been driving while you were impaired, you will be arrested.  The Field Sobriety Tests and chemical alcohol tests generally only serve to provide further evidence against you. 

Miranda Rights

Most people are familiar with the phrase “read me my rights.”  That phrase has derived from the requirement that an officer must read you the “Miranda” rights before engaging you in custodial interrogation.  Those rights are generally recited as follows:

  • You have the right to remain silent.
  • Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.
  • You have the right to an attorney.
  • If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed to you.
  • Do you understand these rights as they have been read to you?

These rights are read to you as a prophylactic measure to ensure that you understand that you do not have to give self-incriminating information in response to police questioning.  You can remain silent, or better, invoke your right to counsel.

Generally, the courts have held that you have no right to receive a Miranda warning before deciding to submit to a breath test or field sobriety tests.  However, Hawaii's law pertaining to Miranda warnings is strongly in favor of advising defendants of their rights.  This is something that is currently being litigated in Hawaii courts and a final answer will be obtained from the Hawaii Supreme Court in the coming years.

Your Rights In Hawaii Misdemeanor DUI Cases

Regardless of which island the case is on, any defendant has certain rights during the court proceedings. You have the right to have a lawyer represent you. If you cannot afford a lawyer, the court will appoint one to represent you.  You have the right to require the State to prove your guilt beyond all reasonable doubt. You also have the right to confront each and every witness against you in court. This means your lawyer has the right to cross-examine each witness. You have the right to subpoena witnesses to come to court and testify on your behalf.  Should you be convicted, you have the right to appeal the conviction to the Hawaii Intermediate Court of Appeals, and if you are unable to afford an attorney, you also have the right to have an appointed lawyer represent you at that stage of the proceedings.

Your Rights in Hawaii Felony DUI Cases

If your DUI or OVUII case is as a habitual offender, you have been charged with a Class C felony.  Persons accused of committing a felony have all of the rights as a person charged with a misdemeanor (discussed above).  However, the court procedure is much different (see the “What Will Happen in my Felony Case?” Section of this website).  You also have the right to either a preliminary hearing or a grand jury proceeding in a felony case.  This hearing allows the judge or a grand jury to determine whether there was probable cause to arrest you.