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May 26, 2017 | admin Los Angeles DUI Collisions Attorney
Not all driving under the influence investigations begin with a traffic stop by a law enforcement officer who observes some sort of traffic violation. Some DUI cases commence as the result of a traffic collision or accident.
Los Angeles is world-renowned for its congested roadways. Traffic collisions are commonplace in the city. A traffic accident is not criminal in and of itself. However, a traffic accident caused by an impaired driver can lead to a DUI arrest and criminal prosecution.
Investigation of a Traffic Collision
In the immediate aftermath of a car accident, police typically are called to the scene. When this happens, the law enforcement officials will commence an accident investigation. This will include interviewing people involved in the accident, as well as witnesses to the incident.
Part of the on-scene investigation by law enforcement officers will be a consideration of whether anyone involved in an accident appears to be impaired. This can result in the police conducted field sobriety tests as well as chemical tests to ascertain whether a driver is impaired.
What the Police Must Demonstrate
The police must demonstrate that a person was impaired at the time of the accident and that the individual was driving one of the vehicles involved in the collision. Oftentimes, the police investigating a traffic accident will attempt to get a driver to admit that he or she was drinking prior to driving a car and before the accident.
Physical Symptoms at the Time of an Accident
A problematic situation that occurs at accident scenes involves physical symptoms exhibited by a driver. The reality is that there are symptoms that can be exhibited after an accident that the police immediately conclude are indications of intoxication or impairment because of alcohol or drugs. In reality, these individuals have suffered some type of injury that is confused with impairment or intoxication.
Interviewing a Driver
If a police officer suspects a driver is impaired, the investigator is likely to try and compel the motorist to admit use of alcohol, or some other mind-altering substance. The legal reality is that a driver does not have to make admissions against his or her interests as the scene of an automobile collision.
Instinctively, a driver may want to cooperate with police. However, doing so can actually work against that individual’s interests in the long run.
If a person ends up charged with driving under the influence in a situation involving a car accident, he or she can expect to face far more significant sanctions that would be the case in the absence of a DUI charge without an associated collision. This scenario underscores the need for a driver charged with DUI associated with an automobile accident to be proactive in retaining legal representation.
Consult with a Los Angeles DUI Lawyer
There are Los Angeles DUI attorneys versed in representing clients charged with DUIs arising out of motor vehicle collisions. The first step in retaining a Los Angeles DUI lawyer capable of providing effective representation in this type of situation is to schedule an initial consultation.
At an initial consultation, a DUI lawyer provides an evaluation of the case, which includes an assessment of possible defenses. A DUI defendant also has the opportunity to ask questions about the case and the court proceedings he or she faces.
Keep in mind that some, but not all, DUI attorneys provide civil representation in regard to a case involving a DUI and an accident. By this it is meant that a person who causes a care accident because he or she is impaired may face both criminal prosecution and a civil lawsuit. Such an individual may need to employ both a criminal and a civil attorney.