About DUI Arrests in Los Angeles
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Your rights in any legal situation are guaranteed by state and federal constitutions. However, law enforcement can take advantage of the fact that many people do not know their rights.
This often results in DUI charges that individuals could have avoided had they known their rights. Gold & Witham is here to protect your rights, so you are not charged and convicted unlawfully.
Arrested for Drunk Driving? Here's What You Need to Know!
Driver will typically face a certain course of events before and during a DUI arrest.
The following is a basic description of a Los Angeles DUI arrest:
- A police officer will notice a driver exhibiting some behavior that may indicate that he or she is driving under the influence, such as swerving speeding, driving too slowly, etc.
- The officer will turn on his or her siren and pull the driver over to the side of the road.
- The officer will ask for the driver's license and registration, taking note of any physical signs of intoxication: slurred speech, any statements the driver may make, etc.
- Depending on his or her observations, the officer may ask the driver to step out of the vehicle and perform field sobriety tests. These are used to gauge the driver's mental and physical abilities to see if they are impaired as a result of alcohol or drug use.
- Upon poor performance on field sobriety tests, the officer will arrest the driver for DUI.
- The arresting officer will confiscate the driver's license and will provide him or her with a "notice of suspension" that will act as a temporary license.
- After a driver's arrest, he or she will be taken to the police station where the officer will request that he or she submit to a breath test or blood test.
- If the driver fails or refuses a breath or blood test, he or she will likely face DUI charges.
Your Rights in a DUI Arrest
It is important to understand your rights in the event of a DUI stop and arrest.
Once you are pulled over by a law enforcement officer, you have the right to:
- Be free from an illegal search/seizure. The Fourth Amendment requires that there is valid reason for pulling you over. Law enforcement must have stopped you for a legitimate traffic offense or you were stopped at a lawful sobriety checkpoint.
- Refuse a field sobriety test. Until you are officially arrested, you are not required to submit to a field sobriety test. It is only against the law to refuse a chemical test after an arrest.
After you have been arrested, you have the right to:
- Retain an attorney. You do not have to answer questions or admit to any sort of guilt.
- Request multiple types of chemical tests. Various factors can influence your chemical test results, so you may have the right to request a breath AND blood test for example.
- Request a DMV hearing. You have the right to secure an administrative hearing to contest your license suspension as long as the request is made within ten days after arrest.
Recommendations for People Arrested for Drunk Driving
Gold & Witham recommend the following course of action if you have been arrested for DUI:
- Cooperate with the police officer when he or she pulls you over. Do not antagonize the situation; instead, be polite and treat the officer with respect.
- If the officer asks questions, answer them to the best of your ability and do not lie.
- Submit to a chemical test as a refusal can warrant automatic license suspension.
- After the officer has finished with the procedure surrounding your DUI charge, it's time to take the most important step: Contact Gold & Witham IMMEDIATELY.
Arrested? You Only Have 10 Days to Request a DMV Hearing!
At Gold & Witham, we strongly recommend requesting a hearing at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Unlike the criminal court hearing, the DMV hearing is optional. However, it is your only chance to contest license suspension. You only have 10 days after the time of your arrest to request this hearing, or you lose your rights to fight the suspension of your driver's license.
If no request is made, your license will be automatically suspended in 30 days. The Los Angeles DUI attorneys at Gold & Witham can handle the DMV hearing request and the hearing itself. In many cases, the license suspension is waived with the help of a quality DUI defense attorney.
Contact Gold & Witham for a Free Case Evaluation
The most important step you can take when a DUI arises is to contact our firm at the first possible moment. The more time you give our lawyers to analyze your case, the better your result may be. Please don't make your situation worse by waiting.