You may be pulled over and arrested for driving under the influence, or DUI, when you are driving in California. It is important to understand and remember that you have rights when you are stopped and/or arrested for DUI. Exercising those rights may have a positive impact when it comes to criminal charges and possible resolution.
Every situation is different and involves a variety of circumstances. These circumstances dictate the influence you have over your DUI arrest. It is the reason why the Law Offices of Jonathan Franklin offers helpful tips regarding your responsibilities and rights relating to a DUI arrest in Los Angeles.
- You have the right to decline to participate in field sobriety tests.
If you are stopped on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the officer may request that you perform FSTs. These tests can include the horizontal gaze nystagmus, one-leg stand, and the finger to nose test. In California, you have the right to refuse to perform these tests without facing legal consequences. It will not change the outcome of being arrested for DUI. The officer can still do that even without results from FSTs. However, the prosecution will not be able to use it against you.
- You have the right to refuse to take a roadside breath test.
A handheld roadside breath test is different from a chemical test at the station. The roadside test is a portable device the officer has with him or her. If you are not arrested or taken into custody for DUI, you do not have to take this test.
- It is your right to be informed of any consequences of refusing a blood or breath test.
If you are arrested and told to take a blood or breath test, you have the right to know the consequences of refusing. Blood or breath tests are referred to as chemical tests. California has implied consent laws with respect to your driver's license and the privilege to drive on the roadways in California. You face losing your driving privileges for refusing to take either test.
- You have the right to refuse to answer any questions related to how much alcohol you’ve consumed.
During your traffic stop, the officer will ask you how many alcoholic beverages you consumed. He or she is not being nice by asking. The officer wants to gather evidence to establish probable cause to arrest you. You do not have to answer the questions. You do have to provide the officer with your driver’s license and registration information.
- You have the right to say nothing.
It is your Constitutional right to remain silent. This means that you do not have to say anything that would be used against you in court. Many people want to clarify an officer’s assumptions or clear his or her name regarding drinking and driving. Resist. These statements can be used against you later.
- You have the right to know why you are being arrested.
Whenever an individual is arrested, the police officer must inform him or her the of the reason for the arrest.
- You have the right to be told of your rights.
Miranda warning. It’s a power, and also a basic legal term. When you are arrested, the police must tell you that you have the right to remain silent. This right and others are included under the Miranda rights.
- You have the right to obtain a lawyer.
Requesting an attorney to represent you is also outlined in the Miranda warning. Even if you are taken into custody for DUI, you have the right to talk to an attorney. This means that you do not have to submit to questioning without your attorney at your side. If you cannot afford one, the government will provide one to you.
Contact the Law Offices of Jonathan Franklin immediately if you have been arrested for DUI in Los Angeles. Jonathan Franklin provides free consultations to review your case and discuss your possible defenses.