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What Should I Do If I Am Stopped for DUI in California?

Posted on in DUI

San Jose criminal defense lawyerDriving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol is illegal. California has some of the strictest DUI penalties in the United States. A first DUI offense can result in fines ranging from $390 to $1,000 along with driver’s license suspension. Offenders can spend days to months in jail, and they may also be ordered to do community service or attend a treatment program or DUI school. It is imperative to understand your rights if you are pulled over for drunk driving in the state of California. In addition, seeking assistance from a qualified and competent lawyer can increase your chances of possibly having the charges reduced or dropped altogether.

Steps to Take During a DUI Traffic Stop

Being pulled over by law enforcement can be scary, and although the initial reaction might be to panic, it is important that an individual remains calm throughout the traffic stop. Not complying with an officer’s order to exit the vehicle could result in a charge of resisting arrest. Another thing to note is that a person stopped for DUI can invoke his or her right to remain silent even if the police officer does not mention Miranda rights. 

It is also crucial to know the laws regarding drunk driving. Under California law, if someone is over 21, he or she does not need to submit to a field sobriety test during a DUI stop. California has an implied consent law, which means possessing a driver’s license indicates a driver has given his or her consent to submit to a chemical test in case the individual is arrested for driving under the influence. However, the motorist has the option of taking a breath or a blood test. Blood tests are typically more accurate than breath tests are. 

The following are recommendations to keep in mind if you or someone you know is stopped for possible DUI:

  • Pull over as soon as it is safe to do so.
  • Do not make any sudden or suspicious movements. 
  • Be polite when talking to the police officer. 
  • Do not answer any incriminating questions, but do not lie. 
  • Refuse a field sobriety test. 
  • Refuse a preliminary breathalyzer test. 

Law enforcement professionals need probable cause in making any traffic stop. In some cases, police officers can make mistakes during a DUI arrest. Each case is unique, and the defense strategies depend on the circumstances. 

Contact a Santa Clara County DUI Defense Lawyer 

Drunk driving is taken seriously in all 50 states. This offense is punishable by fines, jail time, and loss of driving privileges depending on the circumstances. If you or someone you know is charged with a DUI, you should seek professional legal advice to make sure your rights were not violated during the traffic stop. The Law Offices of Erik Steven Johnson has experience in handling numerous DUI cases with positive outcomes. To schedule a free consultation, contact one of our skilled Milpitas drunk driving defense attorneys today at 408-246-3004.



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