Arrested for DUI in Mississippi? Jeffrey G. Pierce
Copyright © Jeffrey G. Pierce, PLLC. All Rights Reserved.  Website Design and Hosting by North Mobile Internet Services, Inc.
Jeffrey G. Pierce, Attorney
Law Offices of
Ocean Springs, Mississippi Lucedale, Mississippi Hattiesburg, Mississippi

If I am stopped by a police officer and he asks me if I have been drinking, what should I tell him?

Everyone who is stopped by the police should be aware of his or her rights under the law. Among those rights are the so called Miranda rights. These rights provide that every person has the right to remain silent and if they should waive these rights and speak to the police, anything they say can be held against them in a court of law. It is always a good idea to cooperate with the police, however it is a better idea to protect yourself by not answering potentially incriminating questions. The best move is to politely tell the police you would like to speak with an attorney before answering any questions. This response should stop any further questioning by the police.

Do I have a right to an attorney when I am stopped by an officer and asked to take field sobriety tests?

Generally, no. It is extremely important to understand the difference between field sobriety testing and a test of your blood, breath or urine for alcohol concentration. While there is generally no right to speak to an attorney prior to submitting to field sobriety testing (i.e., finger to nose test, walk and turn, one leg stand, pen light tests, etc.), you may be entitled to speak with an attorney before you submit to a chemical test of your blood, breath or urine to determine alcohol concentration or after you are arrested. Please understand, that you are under no obligation to submit to field sobriety testing whatsoever. You can refuse to perform any so called field sobriety test, and no crime has been committed.  However, anytime you would like to speak to an attorney, you should ask to do so. The issue of whether or not you were entitled to speak with an attorney can be argued by a competent DUI defense attorney.

What should I do If I am asked or told to take field sobriety tests?

It is extremely important to understand the difference between field sobriety tests and a test of your blood, breath or urine for alcohol concentration. If you refuse to successfully complete a blood, breath or urine test when directed to do so by an authorized law enforcement officer, you will lose your right to drive for a period of ninety (90) days (if in Alabama or Mississippi for a first offense refusal, 1 year in Florida for a first offense refusal). However, there is no such penalty for refusing to take any field sobriety tests, such as the hand held portable breath test (the one offered at the roadside), Walk and Turn, One leg Stand, Finger to Nose, Finger Count, any verbal exercises which include reciting the alphabet or numbers, or the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN). The HGN is an exercise where the person will be asked to follow the top of a pen being moved in front of his/her eyes. You have the RIGHT not to perform any field sobriety test (PERIOD!)

Should I agree to take the "breathilyzer" or "Intoxilyzer", or other chemical test to determine blood alcohol content?

What happens if I refuse?

The law provides for penalties to be enforced against people who refuse to submit to a chemical test by blood, breath or urine. While the U.S. Supreme Court has decided the police may use whatever force necessary to obtain a person's blood, force is rarely used. Instead, the state relies on the enhanced penalties for refusing to submit to the chemical test to "encourage" people to submit. When confronted with the decision of whether to provide a sample of your blood, breath or urine for chemical testing, one should weigh the likelihood of a high blood alcohol reading against the consequences for refusing. The consequences are as follows:

Mississippi

90 day license suspension*

* For first offense refusal. Also please note that the prosecution will seek to offer a refusal as evidence of a person's consciousness of guilt. But, a good defense may offer other reasons for your refusal.

Do I need a lawyer? Can I represent myself?

If you want to fight the charges that have been made against you, you should definitely hire a lawyer. If it is your first or second offense and feel comfortable with receiving the punishment outlined in this website, you may not need a lawyer. However, with each successive DUI received within a five year period ( a fourth offense DUI received anytime in a person's life is charged as a felony), the penalties will be enhanced. If you are charged with a felony, you should be represented by a lawyer. Please refer to the portion regarding penalties for more information.

What will it cost to get a lawyer?

The cost of hiring a lawyer will vary. The reputation, experience and expertise in the area will determine the cost of the attorneys services. As with doctors, generally the more skilled the attorney and the larger the city, the higher the fee. A related factor will be the amount of time a lawyer spends on his cases. The better lawyers take in fewer clients so he can devote more time to each client. The range of fees are great. A general practitioner in a small community may charge only $300 while a DUI specialist with a national reputation may charge $15,000 or more, depending on the strength or weakness of the case. Costs such as expert witness fees, independent blood analysis, court reporter transcripts, etc will likely be extra to any quoted fee.

DUI - Frequently Asked Questions

Ocean Springs, Mississippi Office  ............................ 2016 Bienville Blvd.    Ocean Springs, MS 39564 228-875-3715 Lucedale, Mississippi Office  ............................ P.O. Box 1266 Lucedale, MS 39452 601-766-9105 Hattiesburg, Mississippi Office  ............................ 902 West Pine Street Hattiesburg, MS 39401 601-292-7127 Call Toll Free 866-473-8275
Arrested for DUI in Mississippi? Jeffrey G. Pierce
Copyright © Jeffrey G. Pierce, PLLC. All Rights Reserved.  Website Design and Hosting by North Mobile Internet Services, Inc.
Jeffrey G. Pierce, Attorney Home
Law Offices of

If I am stopped by a police officer and he

asks me if I have been drinking, what should

I tell him?

Everyone who is stopped by the police should be aware of his or her rights under the law. Among those rights are the so called Miranda rights. These rights provide that every person has the right to remain silent and if they should waive these rights and speak to the police, anything they say can be held against them in a court of law. It is always a good idea to cooperate with the police, however it is a better idea to protect yourself by not answering potentially incriminating questions. The best move is to politely tell the police you would like to speak with an attorney before answering any questions. This response should stop any further questioning by the police.

Do I have a right to an attorney when I am stopped

by an officer and asked to take field sobriety tests? 

Generally, no. It is extremely important to understand the difference between field sobriety testing and a test of your blood, breath or urine for alcohol concentration. While there is generally no right to speak to an attorney prior to submitting to field sobriety testing (i.e., finger to nose test, walk and turn, one leg stand, pen light tests, etc.), you may be entitled to speak with an attorney before you submit to a chemical test of your blood, breath or urine to determine alcohol concentration or after you are arrested. Please understand, that you are under no obligation to submit to field sobriety testing whatsoever. You can refuse to perform any so called field sobriety test, and no crime has been committed.  However, anytime you would like to speak to an attorney, you should ask to do so. The issue of whether or not you were entitled to speak with an attorney can be argued by a competent DUI defense attorney.

What should I do If I am asked or told to

take field sobriety tests?

It is extremely important to understand the difference between field sobriety tests and a test of your blood, breath or urine for alcohol concentration. If you refuse to successfully complete a blood, breath or urine test when directed to do so by an authorized law enforcement officer, you will lose your right to drive for a period of ninety (90) days (if in Alabama or Mississippi for a first offense refusal, 1 year in Florida for a first offense refusal). However, there is no such penalty for refusing to take any field sobriety tests, such as the hand held portable breath test (the one offered at the roadside), Walk and Turn, One leg Stand, Finger to Nose, Finger Count, any verbal exercises which include reciting the alphabet or numbers, or the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN). The HGN is an exercise where the person will be asked to follow the top of a pen being moved in front of his/her eyes. You have the RIGHT not to perform any field sobriety test (PERIOD!)

Should I agree to take the "breathilyzer" or

"Intoxilyzer", or other chemical test to

determine blood alcohol content?

What happens if I refuse?

The law provides for penalties to be enforced against people who refuse to submit to a chemical test by blood, breath or urine. While the U.S. Supreme Court has decided the police may use whatever force necessary to obtain a person's blood, force is rarely used. Instead, the state relies on the enhanced penalties for refusing to submit to the chemical test to "encourage" people to submit. When confronted with the decision of whether to provide a sample of your blood, breath or urine for chemical testing, one should weigh the likelihood of a high blood alcohol reading against the consequences for refusing. The consequences are as follows:

Mississippi

90 day license suspension*

* For first offense refusal. Also please note that the prosecution will seek to offer a refusal as evidence of a person's consciousness of guilt. But, a good defense may offer other reasons for your refusal.

Do I need a lawyer? Can I represent myself?

If you want to fight the charges that have been made against you, you should definitely hire a lawyer. If it is your first or second offense and feel comfortable with receiving the punishment outlined in this website, you may not need a lawyer. However, with each successive DUI received within a five year period ( a fourth offense DUI received anytime in a person's life is charged as a felony), the penalties will be enhanced. If you are charged with a felony, you should be represented by a lawyer. Please refer to the portion regarding penalties for more information.

What will it cost to get a lawyer?

The cost of hiring a lawyer will vary. The reputation, experience and expertise in the area will determine the cost of the attorneys services. As with doctors, generally the more skilled the attorney and the larger the city, the higher the fee. A related factor will be the amount of time a lawyer spends on his cases. The better lawyers take in fewer clients so he can devote more time to each client. The range of fees are great. A general practitioner in a small community may charge only $300 while a DUI specialist with a national reputation may charge $15,000 or more, depending on the strength or weakness of the case. Costs such as expert witness fees, independent blood analysis, court reporter transcripts, etc will likely be extra to any quoted fee.

DUI - Frequently Asked Questions

Ocean Springs, Mississippi Office  ............................ 2016 Bienville Blvd.    Ocean Springs, MS 39564 228-875-3715 Lucedale, Mississippi Office  ............................ P.O. Box 1266 Lucedale, MS 39452 601-766-9105 Hattiesburg, Mississippi Office  ............................ 902 West Pine Street Hattiesburg, MS 39401 601-292-7127 Call Toll Free 866-473-8275