Protecting Your Rights: Things to Remember During a DUI Arrest
8 Important Points for Protecting Your Rights:
1. Be Polite
Let’s face it, the police have power over you when they pull you over. There is absolutely nothing good that can come out of treating an authority figure rudely.
We’ve seen the videos online dozens of times of an obnoxious drunk driver making an absolute ass of themselves, eventually getting themselves thrown to the ground and tazed (or even worse shot). Don’t be THAT GUY.
Kindness and respect will go far, but also be sure to protect your own rights. This is only possible if you know the limits of what the police can and cannot do, and also how you should handle the situation yourself…
2. Don’t Admit to Drinking
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If the police suspect you of drinking, they will likely ask you outright if you’ve “had anything to drink?”. This is usually to get you to immediately incriminate yourself. Don’t fall into this trap. If you admit to drinking, not only does this give the officer “probable cause” to investigate further, it also limits your options later in court as far as contesting the charge.
So did you have anything to drink? NO, you did NOT.
3. Gladly Hand Over your Driver’s License and Paperwork
Driving without your license and registration is against the law, and will automatically give the officer a reason to investigate why you are even driving. You don’t need to start out on the wrong foot.
Try to get all of the documentation ready as soon as you are stopped, so you may promptly hand it over through the window.
4. Don’t Take any Testing BEFORE You’re Arrested
Politely refuse to take the field sobriety test (FST). It is not required in the least and you are well within protecting your rights to refuse it.
You are also NOT required to take a “Preliminary Alcohol Screening” or “PAS”, as long as you are not on probation for a prior DUI or under 21. The officer may try to convince you that taking a test is mandatory BEFORE an arrest, but it is not!
These tests are notoriously inaccurate and have even sent completely sober people to jail, for a false positive.
5. Don’t Refuse Testing AFTER You’re Arrested
You are actually required by law to submit a breath, blood, or urine test in California AFTER arrest. It is known as “implied consent”, which you agreed to when you signed the terms of and conditions to receive your driver’s license.
Refusing the test at this point may result in suspension of your license, stiff fines, and additional charges.
6. Don’t Talk to the Police
We’ve all heard the famous “Miranda Rights”:
“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.”
So, whatever you say will NOT be used to help you. Police are trained in persuasion tactics to build a stronger case against you. Whatever you say, will end up on their report and may result in a DUI Vehicle Code 23152 conviction that could have otherwise been avoided.
7. You Have 3 FREE PHONE CALLS. Use Them.
In California, you’re entitled to at least three completed phone calls after an arrest, not just one. Your first call should be to your attorney. Your second call should be to a friend or family member, and your third can be to a bondsman if needed.
You may even have the other person record your voice (or leave a voicemail if they don’t answer), as long as your speech is not slurred. This may be used in court to help prove that you in fact were not drunk!
8. Call Your Attorney Immediately
You should never represent yourself in court for a DUI. You would be surprised at what a good DUI attorney can do for you. We’ll make it easy, here’s our number:
Keep it handy under “Criminal Defense Lawyer Seppi Esfandi” on your phone. It may save your life one day!
We’re Here to Help
At the Law Offices of Seppi Esfandi, we have decades of experience successfully resolving every type of DUI case imaginable. We’ve done it over and over again, and can you do it for you as well. Our DUI lawyers have the experience and ability necessary to help you obtain the optimal outcome in your case.
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Seppi Esfandi is an Expert Criminal Defense Attorney who has over 20 years of practice defending a variety of criminal cases.