What to do if you get pulled over for DUI in California

What to do if you get pulled over for DUI in California

Being pulled over for driving under the influence (DUI) can be a stressful and daunting experience. In California, the consequences of a DUI conviction can be severe, including hefty fines, license suspension, and even jail time. As a responsible driver, it is essential to be aware of your rights and know how to handle a DUI traffic stop. In this article, we will provide valuable tips and insights to help you navigate the process if you find yourself in this challenging situation.

Remember, it is crucial to understand your rights and take action to protect them if you are pulled over for a DUI in California. By staying calm, exercising your rights, and seeking legal representation, you can navigate the legal process and work towards the best possible outcome for your case.

Key Takeaways

  • In California, the consequences of a DUI conviction can be severe, including hefty fines, license suspension, and even jail time.

  • As a responsible driver, it’s essential to be aware of your rights and know how to handle a DUI traffic stop.

  • Understanding your rights, knowing what to do, and seeking legal counsel are crucial steps to protect yourself and your future when faced with a DUI stop in California.

  • If you are pulled over and arrested for a DUI in California, there are steps you can take to protect your rights and navigate the legal process.

Driving Under the Influence (DUI) Laws in California

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a serious offense in California. The state has some of the strictest DUI penalties in the nation. If you find yourself being pulled over on suspicion of DUI in California, it is important to know your rights and how to handle the situation.

What is California’s DUI Limit?

In California, the legal limit for blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08% for drivers over the age of 21. For drivers under 21, the legal limit is 0.01%. It’s important to note that even if your BAC is below the legal limit, you can still be charged with a DUI if the officer believes you are impaired.

Understanding Your Rights During a DUI Stop

When you are pulled over for a DUI in California, you have certain rights that you should be aware of. These include the following:

Your Right to Remain Silent

You have the right to remain silent during a DUI stop. You are not obligated to answer any questions regarding your activities earlier in the day or evening or to inform the officer about any substances you might have consumed. It is best to politely decline to answer these questions and exercise your right to remain silent.

Your Right to Refuse Field Sobriety Tests

In California, you are not legally required to undergo field sobriety tests (FSTs). These tests, which assess balance, coordination, and the ability to follow directions, can be subjective and may not accurately measure impairment. It is within your rights to politely decline to take these tests and explain to the officer that they are not required by California law.

If you are arrested for a DUI, it is important to remember that you have the right to legal representation. It is advisable to contact a San Diego DUI attorney as soon as possible to ensure that your rights are protected throughout the legal process.

What to Do if the Police Request a Field Sobriety Test

If the police officer requests that you perform a field sobriety test, it is important to understand what this test is meant to assess and what your options are for responding to the police.

What is a Field Sobriety Test?

A field sobriety test is a series of physical tests designed to assess impairment. These tests can include standing on one leg, walking in a straight line, or following an object with your eyes. The results of these tests can be used as evidence of impairment in a DUI case.

Your Options When Asked to Perform a FST

When asked to perform a field sobriety test, you have a few options. You can choose to comply with the officer’s request and perform the test. However, it’s important to note that these tests are subjective and can be difficult to pass even when sober. Alternatively, you can politely decline to take the test and explain to the officer that you believe it is not a reliable indicator of impairment.

Consequences of Refusing or Agreeing to the Test

It’s important to weigh the potential consequences of refusing or agreeing to a field sobriety test. Refusing to take the test can result in the officer using other evidence, such as your driving behavior or the smell of alcohol, to establish probable cause for an arrest. On the other hand, agreeing to the test can provide the officer with evidence of impairment that can be used against you in court.

Consequences for Your License During a DUI Stop

Automatic License Suspension

When you are arrested for a DUI in California, your drivers license is automatically suspended. This suspension is separate from any suspension or revocation that may result from a conviction.

Administrative Per Se Hearing Process

To challenge the automatic license suspension, you must request an Administrative Per Se (APS) hearing within 10 days of your arrest. During this hearing, you can present evidence and arguments to try to retain your driving privileges.

Ignition Interlock Device Requirements

In some cases, you may be required to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in your vehicle. This device measures your BAC before allowing the vehicle to start. If your BAC is above the programmed limit, the vehicle will not start.

Steps to Take After a DUI Stop

If you are pulled over and arrested for a DUI in California, there are steps you can take to protect your rights and navigate the legal process.

Contacting a San Diego DUI Attorney

It is crucial to contact a skilled San Diego DUI attorney as soon as possible after your DUI arrest. An experienced lawyer can guide you through the legal process, protect your rights, and work toward the best possible outcome for your case.

Your attorney will explain the legal process and help you understand the charges against you. They will review the evidence, assess the strength of the prosecution’s case, and develop a defense strategy tailored to your specific circumstances.

Avoiding Self-Incrimination

Throughout the DUI process, it is important to avoid self-incrimination. This means exercising your right to remain silent and not providing any statements or information that could be used against you in court.

Advice from Experienced Criminal Attorneys

In one of our latest videos, criminal lawyer Jay Monico shares his top tips for individuals who find themselves pulled over under suspicion of DUI in California. The video addresses the nuances of DUI stops and the potential consequences individuals may face if they fail to properly exercise their rights, emphasizing the importance of seeking legal assistance from skilled DUI attorneys.

Attorneys Monico delves into effective strategies for navigating a DUI stop in California, including politely declining to perform field sobriety tests or answer any questions without an attorney present. He highlights the value of understanding the strategies police use to get an arrest and the potential penalties associated with a DUI.

This video provides invaluable insights for individuals facing DUI charges in San Diego and serves as a resource for navigating the legal complexities associated with such cases, ultimately empowering viewers with the knowledge to protect their rights and make informed decisions.

Free San Diego DUI Consultation

If you have been arrested for a DUI in San Diego, it is important to seek legal guidance as soon as possible. Our San Diego DUI attorneys at Sevens Legal offer free consultations to discuss your case and provide guidance on the best course of action.

How to Contact Our Criminal Defense Attorneys

If you need legal representation for a DUI case in San Diego, you can contact Sevens Legal to set up a free consultation. Our experienced criminal defense lawyers are ready to protect your rights. You can reach us by calling (619) 430-2355.