IF YOU ARE PULLED OVER.
Know your rights ! You have the right to remain silent. Use it. You must comply with certain requirements such as providing your driver's license and proof of insurance. What you do NOT have to do is tell them whether or not you have been drinking. Where you are going. You have the RIGHT to refuse to do FST's (Field Sobriety Tests). And you should refuse to do them as they are subjective and open to the Officer's interpretation. If the officer's start asking questions, your only response should be "I want to talk to an attorney."
Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES WHATSOEVER should you EVER give officers consent to search your vehicle. You have nothing to hide. But is that a good reason to give up your Constitutional Rights? Never.
If you are arrested, then you WILL have to submit to a breath or blood test. You will be given the choice to choose one. And you must chose one or a choice will be made for you. They will get a search warrant and thenstrap you down in a chair and take your blood by force. And, yes, they can and will do it.
There is debate as to which test to chose. In my experience, choosing the blood test is the better choice. If you chose the breath test, Officers will know your level of inebriation instantly and can write their reports accordingly after the fact. If blood test is chosen, your blood sample will be sent to a laboratory for analysis and it will be weeks before the results are known. So the officers will NOT know what BAC level you are at and, therefore, will write their reports with more caution.
There are far too many circumstances and situations that can arise. Each case is different. If you want to discuss what happened when you got pulled over, please, give me a call.
I am being charged with a DUI... now what? What can I do?
If you were arrested for a DUI, you will (more likely than not) be thrown in jail and charged with violation of California Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b). To simplify the two, the (a) code is driving under the influence while the (b) code is driving with a Blood Alcohol Concentration of 0.08 or above. There are important differences between the two violations. An experienced attorney will know the differences and how they will impact your case.
You will also be given a Court date for your arraignment. This is where you will be officially charged and you will be expected to answer with a plea (such as entering a plea of Not Guilty). It is at this stage that you are now officially charged with a crime and are looking at possible jail or prison time.
As your attorney, I can be at your arraignment and do the talking for you. Sometimes the Deputy District Attorney will give you an offer to settle the case. It is imperative to have an attorney by your side to guide you through this ordeal and do the talking for you.
After the arraignment, I can get a copy of the police reports, lab results, etc... We can sit down and discuss your case. As I stated earlier, each case is different. Usually, but not in all cases, a DUI case starts when an officer pulls you over. That is where we begin our defense. Was the stop legal ? Did the officer have a legal, valid reason for the stop ? Or was it pre-textual ? You have certain rights under the law. And if any one of them were violated, you may have grounds to have evidence excluded. This is usually done via a 1538.5 motion.
We can then analyze the lab or test results. Were precautionary procedures followed? Was there a lapse in time between drinking and driving? Were you behind the wheel when the police first contacted you?
I can review your case and discuss your defenses.
You must also act quickly. You have 10 days to request a DMV hearing (which an overworked Public Defender cannot do for you) otherwise your license will be suspended.
DUI convictions can have serious consequences and should not be taken lightly. I have been handling DUI cases for over a decade. I had the most NOT GUILTY verdicts in Shasta County for DUI charges in 2006, 2007, and 2008. You need an attorney with this type of experience. Give me a call and we can talk about your case. The consultation is FREE ... I am here to help.
Hopefully this gave you some small insight into what goes into a DUI defense. Questions? Want to talk? Give me a call.