Today’s topic of discussion concerns “Why you should say no when asked to perform standardized fields sobriety tests by a police officer.” In earlier discussions on my blog, I talked about why it was in your best interest to remain silent and not speak with the police when you are being investigated for a crime. The same principle of “silence” applies to the performance of these standardized fields sobriety tests, SFSTs for short.
The SFSTs consist of three standardized tasks: Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus, the Walk and Turn and the One Leg Stand. By agreeing to perform these tests, you are giving the officer MORE evidence to use against you at trial. Everyone thinks that if they just cooperate with the police that they will be allowed to get back into their cars and drive on home. Nothing could be further from the truth. All you serve by doing those SFSTs is to cement the coffin shut on your case.
You make my job so much easier when you haven’t performed SFSTs. If you have a low breath test result or a refusal charge and you didn’t perform SFSTs, you have deprived the state of evidence of your impairment that they would certainly use against you. Many people are unprepared and have never seen these SFSTs be performed before. They’re nervous, they may be not athletic, they may be uncoordinated, they may be overweight, they may be old. There are a variety of reasons for why you may perform poorly on the SFSTs. That’s just another reason to say NO to SFSTs.
You are not required by law to submit to SFSTs, just like you are not required by law to answer a police officer’s questions. The only thing you are required to perform is a breath test. That’s it. If you perform the SFSTs, the results will be used against you. If that officer has determined that you need to step out to perform those tests, he’s already made the determination that in all likelihood, he’s going to place you under arrest. By performing these tests you making the prosecutor’s job for obtaining a conviction easier.
Don’t help the police do their job! Don’t make the prosecutor’s job to convict you easier! Say no to SFSTs. Keep your mouth shut and immediately upon release from jail, call my office. Thank you and I look forward to bringing you another video soon.
If you are facing criminal charges in Maine, the attorneys at The Maine Criminal Defense Group are here to help. Call our office to speak with
one of our team members, who will discuss your case with you and set up a consultation with one of our attorneys
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