What Should I Do if Pulled Over for Suspected DUI in Los Angeles?

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What Should I Do?

Being pulled over for a DUI can be scary, regardless of the surrounding circumstances. The only sure way to avoid any issues is to avoid drinking and driving. That being said, if you have had something to drink and you choose to drive, some of these essential details may help your defense attorney defend you against serious convictions.

First and foremost, remain calm and be polite with the responding officer. Pull over, shut off your ignition, and place your hands on the wheel so the officers can see them. Calmly remain compliant with their questions, such as slowly reaching for your license or registration rather than making abrupt or quick movements.

Avoid long answers to questions. Officers are trained to ask you questions to initiate you in inadvertently incriminating yourself, such as where you were or are coming from, where you are heading, and other details about the events leading up to you being pulled over.

Other Matters to Remember

Keep in mind that you are probably being recorded, so it’s best to remain polite and offer short, factual answers without divulging too much. If you mention that you had a few drinks earlier, they may still be able to test your Blood Alcohol Content or BAC and infer from the levels that your BAC is dropping now and if you are near the legal limit (even if you aren’t over), this may still suffice as a conviction.

For example, suppose you are honest about having a few drinks earlier, and your BAC is .07 or around there. In that case, you may still be charged as the officer can assume that your levels are dropping because if you had been driving up until this point, you may have been driving beyond the legal limit.

It’s also important to remember that you have the right to remain silent and can exercise that right by letting the officer know you are invoking your constitutional right to remain silent.

Refusal of Tests

Though there is conflicting research on this, it is sometimes best to refuse tests such as the Preliminary Alcohol Screening tests, such as the ones where you are asked to walk a straight line, touch your finger to your nose, or look into a light while they track your eye movements. If you are over the age of 21, you are not obligated to submit to the tests if you aren’t on probation from a previous DUI.

Refusing the blood or chemical breath test, however, is not recommended. Refusal may result in an accelerated charge and also may require you to lose your license for up to one year by the DMV. Keep in mind that the DMV and the state of California are two separate entities, and you will receive punishments from both if applicable.

If Arrested: Remain Calm and Polite

Keep in mind that you are typically being recorded throughout the entire process. Due to this, it’s imperative that you remain calm and not combative. If you are perceived to be confrontational, this can add to the charges that may be brought against you.

Remaining calm and complying with the officer’s requests can ensure that you are seen to be a compliant and polite individual, so when the prosecutor and judge review the tapes, they can deduce that though you made a mistake, you weren’t being rude about it. Though it can’t be proven that this helps in every case, it certainly won’t hurt you.

Probable Cause

If the officer doesn’t have probable cause, they can’t arrest you for DUI. Suppose you are compliant and polite but are refusing to answer questions or chat with them (while possibly allowing them to smell alcohol on your breath or learn of other incriminating evidence). In that case, there isn’t typically going to be probable cause to arrest you.

If you politely refuse the road tests, they also won’t have probable cause to arrest you. If the responding officer assumes that you are intoxicated but doesn’t have concrete evidence to back up their assumption, they can’t typically legally arrest you for a DUI.

Even after the arrest, even if you have a BAC higher than .08, which is the legal limit, if the officer doesn’t have probable cause to arrest you, the charges may be dropped in the future with the help of your trusted attorney.

Our team of experienced trial lawyers comprises a former prosecutor and a former judge. We have vast knowledge and experience from all sides of the courtroom to ensure that you get the best defense possible. Our approach comes from experience and tenacity. We work tirelessly for our clients and aren’t afraid to fiercely advocate for them when necessary.

With our unique background and experience, we are prepared for what the prosecution may use against you and what the judges will think about it. With decades of experience specifically in the DUI charges arena, we are better prepared to handle your charges than many or all of our competitors.

We also have a court-recognized blood alcohol expert on our staff who has handled over 2,500 cases in California. He is the former manager of the Blood Alcohol Testing Unit, making his knowledge imperative to our clients. It can mean the difference between obtaining charges that can remain on your record for an extended period or having them dismissed altogether.

Contact our office at (866) 927-3295 to schedule your free initial consultation. We focus solely on DUIs for a reason: because we are well-versed and highly experienced in this arena.

We look forward to serving you.

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