/ 5.12.20

What to Do If You Get Pulled Over for a DUI in California

Written by: Doug Ridley

Understanding Your Rights During a California DUI Arrest

Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is one of the most common criminal offenses that people are arrested for in California. Drunk driving offenses can happen to anyone. At Ridley Defense, we understand that the vast majority of people arrested for a California DUI are not criminals; they are good people with good jobs that may have had a bad day.

Our experienced drunk driving defense lawyers at Ridley Defense are here to help you understand your rights during and after an arrest. Remember, it is never too early to contact our offices. Your initial consultation is free.

Tips for Getting Pulled Over for DUI

Getting pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence can be frightening and overwhelming. However, getting pulled over is not the end of the story. The first thing you can do to help your situation is remain calm. In case you are pulled over, here are a few pieces of advice:

You May Refuse a Field Sobriety Test

After you get pulled over, an officer will most likely perform a field sobriety test. Many people believe that you are required to submit to a field sobriety test if you are pulled over for a DUI. However, this is not true. Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs) are not mandatory under state law, so you may politely refuse to participate without any penalty.

The three standard elements of a field sobriety test are: testing your gaze with an object like a pen, asking you to walk in a straight line and then turn, and asking you to stand on one leg to test your balance.

If an officer asks for you to perform any of these tests, we recommend that you politely refuse.

Be Aware When Refusing a Chemical Test

On the other hand, you are required by law to submit to a blood or breath test if you are placed under arrest for suspicion of driving under the influence. If you refuse to take a chemical test, the consequences include a mandatory one-year license suspension. If you have been cited for a refusal, we can contest the license suspension at a DMV hearing.

In most cases, it is best to submit to the chemical test to avoid penalties. However, if you did refuse the test, it does not mean you will automatically get convicted of a DUI.  Our knowledgeable DUI defense lawyers can help build a strong case on your behalf.

Be Careful About Making Any Statements

We recommend that you avoid, to the best of your ability, making any statements to law enforcement, other parties involved, insurance companies, etc. Unfortunately, it is true that any statements you make to an officer can (and will) be used against you.

You do not need to answer any questions or explain your actions at this time. Try to remain respectful toward law enforcement and politely say, "I want an attorney present for questions" or, “I’m not making any statements, I have an attorney.”

Your Car Might Be Impounded – Don't Sign Any Forms!

After an arrest for a DUI, your car may get impounded. Do not sign an impound form or any other document before consulting with an attorney. Just like our advice to avoid making verbal statements, you should also avoid signing anything until you’ve spoken with your lawyer.

Get in Touch with an Experienced DUI Lawyer As Soon As Possible

If you are arrested for a California DUI, you should act fast to protect your rights, your driving privileges, and your freedom. Contact an attorney immediately after your arrest. Schedule a complimentary consultation with Ridley Defense by contacting us online or by calling 805.208.1866.

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