What to Do If You Are Pulled Over for a DUI?
Although you should not need a reason to not drive under the influence, it’s useful to know that California enforces some of the strictest DUI penalties in the nation. First time DUI offenders are typically ordered to pay fines anywhere between $390 to $1,000. Their license also becomes suspended for up to four months. Driving under the influence can also cost you between four days and sixth months in jail, as well as mandatory community service or traffic/DUI school.
In the unfortunate case you get pulled over for a DUI, here are a few things you should try to remember:
- Be Polite
It is crucial that you stay calm and collected to the law enforcement officer, no matter how scared or mad you are for being pulled over. If you come off as hostile or rude, the police officer can write an incriminating report that harms you later. You should always comply with the officers’ orders because you can be arrested and charged for resisting arrest if you fail to do so.
- Know Your Rights
If, for some reason, you try to defend your DUI by telling the police officer you’ve only had a couple of beers, you are going to wish you exercised your right to remain silent. You can always exercise this right so that you can avoid incriminating yourself. However, it’s important to remember that you still have to provide your license, registration, and proof of insurance. You are just legally protected from declining answering any questions regarding alcohol or where you have been. You do not have to submit to a field sobriety test in California unless you are under 21 years of age or on probation for a DUI conviction. So, it is your legal right to politely decline to submit to a sobriety test and explain that they are not required by California law.
- Submit to a Chemical Test
California enforces an implied consent law, which states that if you are arrested for DUI, having a driver’s license automatically indicates you have given consent to submit to a chemical test. However, you do have the choice between taking a breath test or a blood test. This is important to note because breath tests are commonly attacked in court. And while you cannot retest a breath sample, you can retest a blood sample with an independent laboratory to determine whether the government’s test was accurate. It is important to remember that refusing to take a chemical test often results in blood being taken from you forcibly. These results can be used against you in court, and they will add a charge that states you refused to submit to the test.
- Contact an Attorney
If you face a DUI charge and conviction, you must hire an experienced DUI attorney to help you defend your case. You should always ask them how long they’ve been practicing DUI law, how many cases they’ve taken to trial, and gain an overall idea of their experience representing people. In your initial consultation, you should also ask which lawyer would handle your case, as well as their qualifications to help you.
If you face a DUI charge and would like to learn more about your options, call the Law Office of David Leicht at (760)256-3104 for a free consultation today.The Law Office of David Leicht serves the California communities of Barstow, Victorville, Apple Valley, Hesperia, Adelanto, Baker, Needles, Lucerne Valley, Big Bear, San Bernardino, Mojave, Phelan, and Wrightwood.