You can improve your odds of successfully resolving a charge for driving under the influence (DUI) in California if you follow some basic steps. You can also strengthen your defense by focusing on what not to do when arrested for a DUI in California.
Go over the things you should not do when arrested for a DUI with this article. The professionals at the Simmrin Law Group can help you review the best actions to take (or not to take) when facing a DUI arrest.
DON’T Lie to the Police When Stopped for a DUI
During a DUI arrest, you will have to speak with law enforcement officers. You may be stopped and asked a series of questions about your previous actions. You should not lie to police officers at any point, as this can damage your defense.
However, you are not required to answer questions that will incriminate you. You are legally allowed to say that you don’t want to answer questions like:
- Do you know why you were pulled over?
- Were you drinking earlier?
- How much did you drink today?
You should not provide law enforcement officers with information about how much or how little you drank before getting behind the wheel of your vehicle. Additionally, you should remain polite and respectful while speaking with officers of the law.
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DON’T Automatically Complete DUI Testing
Police officers will likely ask you to complete field sobriety tests and chemical tests if they suspect you were driving under the influence. You are legally required to take these tests if you are:
- Under 21
- On DUI probation
- Legally arrested
In these situations, you gave implied consent to agree to the DUI testing when you got behind the wheel of your vehicle. However, in other situations, you have the legal right to refuse preliminary-alcohol screening (PAS) tests and field sobriety tests.
Additionally, you do NOT have to explain why you don’t want to take a field sobriety test or PAS test. Legally, you are allowed to say you would rather not complete the test. This is for the best. Everything you say can be used against you later, so keep conversations with police officers to the minimum.
DON’T Try to Handle DUI Charges on Your Own
You are legally entitled to representation if you are arrested for a DUI in the state of California. You may work with a private DUI lawyer in Los Angeles or get assistance from a public defender. In either situation, you should secure legal assistance as quickly as possible.
A criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles can help you handle all aspects of your criminal case. Your lawyer can stand with you as you are questioned by police officers and prosecutors. You should NOT answer any questions about your case without the advice of a legal professional.
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DON’T Accept Plea Bargains Without Thoroughly Examining Them
Prosecutors can offer you a plea bargain after you are arrested for a DUI in California. They may try to make these deals sound like they are your best option to resolve the charges you are facing. However, initial plea bargains will often work against your best interests.
Plea bargains require you to plead guilty to a lessened charge. This means that accepting a deal can still lead to:
- Jail time
- Time in an alcohol treatment program
Additionally, some plea bargains will count against you if you are arrested for another DUI in California. “Wet” reckless charges are commonly offered by prosecutors and these charges are priorable. They will increase the penalties you face for subsequent DUI convictions.
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DON’T Forget About Your Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Hearing
DUI charges don’t only lead to criminal charges in California. The DMV also plays a role in handling DUI accusations. In fact, the DMV can automatically suspend your license 30 days after your arrest. You may be able to stop this suspension by requesting a DMV hearing within 10 days of a DUI arrest.
If you do not request this hearing, the license suspension can go through automatically. Get help handling your DMV hearing by working with a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles now.
DO Get Help from a Los Angeles DUI Lawyer
Make sure you’re ready to handle a DUI arrest in California by contacting the Simmrin Law Group right now. Our DUI lawyers in Los Angeles can help you go over what not to do when arrested for a DUI in California. Find out more with a FREE case evaluation.
Our team is ready to defend you in and out of court. Complete our online contact form or call (310) 896-2723 to get started.