Stopped For DUI In Los Angeles?
What You Should Know If You Are Stopped for a DUI
While every DUI case is different, you were likely either stopped because an officer believed your driving was impaired or you violated the law. It is important to understand that the reason why or how you were stopped may be challenged in court during your criminal proceedings. At Law Offices of Scott R. Spindel, we are extremely knowledgeable about the way local law enforcement and judges handle DUI cases. You can rely on us to ensure you are fully educated on both your rights and options.
What to Expect After Being Pulled Over
If the officer who pulls you over believes you are under the influence, he will likely ask you to undergo a chemical test and to perform some field sobriety tests. It is important to know that while you are obligated to submit to chemical tests, you are not obligated to submit to any field sobriety tests.
What You Should and Shouldn't Do When Pulled Over
Do Not answer any questions that could incriminate you. There’s a high possibility that if the officer is at all suspicious of you, they will ask if you’ve been drinking. A common mistake people make is stating, “I had a drink or two earlier.” While you may have only had an appropriate amount of alcohol and given yourself enough time to recover from its slight affect, officers have heard this explanation time and time again. Remember:
Do Not say that you’ve been drinking — you are not required to state whether or not you have been drinking. It’s better to not speak about it, no matter if it was just a cocktail or a sip off someone else’s beer. You are not required to share any information with the officer besides your driver’s license.
Do Not agree to a field sobriety test — you are not required to take any field sobriety tests. There is no penalty for refusal. Once again, these tests are used to confirm whether or not you are okay to drive. If for any reason the officer believes you have not preformed the tests up to their standards, this will be used to support a DUI conviction.
Do agree to a chemical test, but only if an officer has a “reasonable suspicion”. Remember, though, if an officer is persistent in making you take a chemical test in a way that makes you uncomfortable, and the results prove you are innocent, you may want to consider filing a lawsuit.
Post-Arrest Detention & Questioning
Once you have been detained and an officer believes you are under the influence, they can ask you incriminating questions such as how much you had to drink or what you have consumed. They may not offer you the opportunity to speak with a Los Angeles DUI attorney, however it is important to know you do not have to answer any questions. If you do answer these questions, the answers may be used against you in court.
Once the “stop” has escalated into a “detention,” you must be read your Miranda rights and you may request that an attorney be present before speaking to police. However, you are not entitled to speak to a criminal defense lawyer or have a lawyer present before or during your submission to a chemical test. If you were not read your Miranda rights after being placed in custody, any statements you made to the officers may be challenged in court.
We understand that all of this information can be confusing, no matter how plainly it is stated. This is why it is vital that you consult with an experienced and knowledgeable Los Angeles DUI defense lawyer right away.
Please request a free case consultation by contacting our legal team at (888) 973-0209.