What Should You Do If You Are Stopped By The Police For DUI In Orange County?
It is important to remember that you have certain rights if you are stopped by the police while driving. As your Orange County DUI attorney will advise you, always be careful about what you say to the police. They are trained to be experts at eliciting confessions and incriminating statements. You’ve likely heard this before but it is worth repeating – anything you say can and will be used against you.
Do I have to answer questions? You have the right to remain silent. The fact that you choose to remain silent cannot be used against you. You are under no duty to help the police investigate you. It is not illegal to refuse to answer questions. In fact, you have the right to have your Orange County DUI defense attorney present during questioning. To make the officer aware you are asserting this right, clearly state something to the effect of, “I will not be answering any questions without my attorney present.” You should also insist of having your Orange County DUI lawyer present if the police are going to put you in a line-up.
If you are stopped when driving a car, however, you are still required to provide your driver’s license, proof of insurance, and vehicle registration.
Do I have to submit to tests? You are not required to submit to field sobriety tests, or a roadside preliminary alcohol screening (PAS) test. However, if the officer places you under arrest and asks you to submit to a chemical test and you refuse, your license could be suspended for a year (two years if you have prior DUIs). Your refusal to take the test can be used against you if you are charged with DUI.
Should I consent to a search? The police officer does not have the right to search you or your vehicle without your consent. Of course an officer may be allowed to do a pat down of your body to check for weapons if the officer reasonably feels he is in danger. However, it is not reasonable for an officer to feel in danger for a simple traffic violation.
If the officer states that he has a search warrant, you should ask to see it since the officer may search only the areas specified in the warrant.
Am I free to leave? If you are being placed under arrest, you have the right to know why. It is not wise to argue or threaten the police. If you are not under arrest, you may ask if you are free to leave. Do not run from the police. Do not resist arrest, even if you are innocent.
Get Help With Your Orange County DUI Case
An arrest for DUI does not have to result in a conviction. Orange County DUI lawyers at Coffey and Coffey have helped many clients fight drunk driving charges. For a free consultation, please contact dedicated Orange County DUI attorneys at the law firm of Coffey and Coffey at (800) 706-7888 today.