Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: May 15, 2011

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The law on this varies from state to state. As a general rule, however, there is no right to an attorney until you have submitted to (or refused) blood, breath or urine testing. In some states, there is a right to consult with counsel upon being arrested or before deciding whether to submit to chemical testing. Of course, this does not mean that you cannot ask for an attorney. However, if you have the presence of mind to ask for an attorney before taking the field sobriety test, then presumably you would have the presence of mind to decline to take the field sobriety test. It can only help the officer, is highly unlikely to help you, and a refusal is not penalized. This does not apply to the blood, breath or urine test though.