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What Should You Say if You are Stopped for Suspicion of DUI in Los Angeles?

  • September 1, 2017

    Los Angeles DUI law is vast, and there are so many facets of the law most people don’t know what’s legal, what’s not, and how it works. You might know you can be pulled over and arrested for a DUI if you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs when an officer stops you. You also know it’s illegal to drive under the influence. However, you might not know that an officer cannot pull you over for a DUI without probable cause, that they may ask you to take a blood alcohol test of some sort but they cannot force you, or that you are not legally required to speak to the officers if they pull you over. It’s time to learn what you can and should do and say if you are pulled over on the suspicion you are under the influence.

    Say Nothing

    If you are pulled over, you are not required to say a word to the officer if he or she speaks to you or even asks you a question after they have placed you under arrest. The only thing you should say if you are guilty or you are being treated as if you are guilty of a DUI is that you’d like to call your attorney. You have the legal right to do just that. Anything you say to a police officer or anyone else after you’ve been arrested can and probably will be used against you when you go to court. You never know what might come across as evidence that supports the arrest, so you’re better off saying nothing to anyone but your attorney.

    If you are not arrested and the officer is speaking to you, you must respond. You are encouraged to respond politely and with respect. You are encouraged to politely decline a breathalyzer if that’s your choice. You are always encouraged to do nothing but remain polite and cooperative, but you don’t have to do anything that’s not required of you. You should speak to the police if they have not arrested you, but keep your answers short, simple, and very concise to avoid providing too much information.

    Consider Probable Cause

    The most important thing you should do when you’re pulled over for the suspicion of a DUI is listen for probable cause. The officer who pulled you over must give you a reason for pulling you over. He or she cannot just pull you over for fun or even because they watched you leave a bar. They must witness you breaking the law. You must be viewed by the officers speeding, not stopping for signs or lights, passing someone without the right, driving recklessly, or your vehicle must be in violation of some sort of moving violation. For example, you might have a headlight out, a tail light or tag light is not working, or there is some other visible issue.

    It’s only after the officer pulls you over for something of this nature they can begin asking about the influence you might be under. They must notice an open container, smell your drinks on your breath, or see drugs or alcohol in the vehicle with you. If the officer does not provide you with probable cause for pulling you over in the first place, your DUI might be dropped.

    Call an Attorney

    If you are stopped and you are arrested for a DUI, call an attorney. You should say nothing else to the police at this point. You should do what you can to stay quiet and ask only to speak to your attorney. The police will continue trying to get you to talk, but you are not required to say anything more than you would like to speak to your attorney. You have this right, you are not going to be in more trouble for this, and you must be given the option to speak to your attorney the moment you ask.

    You are always rightfully entitled to a free public defender, but you can also hire your own attorney. A Los Angeles DUI attorney is the best hope you have of seeing your case dropped or your charges reduced. You need help when you are arrested for a DUI, and an experienced attorney is your best option.

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