When do I have the Right to Have my Attorney Present During a Los Angeles DUI Stop?
There is a lot of confusion surrounding Miranda Rights and how they work in Los Angeles and across the world. These are the rights to which you are entitled if you are arrested for a crime. This includes DUI stops in Los Angeles. You are entitled to have your attorney present, but the confusion over when you get to have him or her present is what gets some people in trouble when they are pulled over and charged with a DUI.
The first thing you must understand is you were not pulled over on suspicion of being under the influence. You were pulled over because the officer who pulled you over had probable cause. This means they saw you breaking the law while driving. If you were speeding, they can pull you over. If you were swerving all over the road, they can pull you over. If you have a light out, they can pull you over. They can even give you a ticket if you have a light out, but they usually just issue a warning and ask you to get that fixed as soon as possible.
The arresting officer in your case pulled you over because there was another issue. it wasn’t until they got you on the side of the road and witnessed something that caused them to believe you were under the influence that this became a DUI stop. Open containers, alcohol on your breath, glassy eyes, inability to focus, prescription or illegal drugs visible in the car, or anything else that might alert them to the fact you are under the influence is what makes officers ask you to perform a field sobriety test.
Now that you are being asked to do this, you want to know about your attorney. You know you can’t talk to the police, and you think you know the law. You’ve seen it on television more than once, but you’re not entirely certain when the officer is going to tell you all about your right to have your attorney present.
When can I have my attorney present?
Your arresting officer is not going to read you any Miranda Rights until you’re arrested. There is no need for it when you’re being asked to submit to a blood alcohol test of any sort or even when the officer asks you to get out of the car. You haven’t been arrested yet, so nothing is being used against you. If you’re being asked to take a blood alcohol test, you don’t have the right to talk to your attorney first. Unfortunately, this is a decision you make on your own.
You do have the right to refuse, and that’s called refusal. It’s within the rights you have, but it means you will be arrested. That’s when you have a right to an attorney. When you refuse this test, it looks bad in court even though it’s perfectly legal. That’s something you must keep in mind before you refuse to take any tests. There is no constitutional right that allows you to call your attorney and/or have them present at any point during a DUI stop unless an officer has informed you that you are being arrested and reads you the rights you are entitled to.
When Rights are Read
Once the rights are read to you, ask to call your attorney and say nothing else. Nothing you said prior to your arrest and the reading of your Miranda rights can or will be used against you in court. It’s not until now that you are incriminating yourself when you speak. You call an attorney and say nothing else to anyone but your attorney. That is your legal right.
Calling an attorney when you are arrested for a DUI in Los Angeles is a responsible decision. Your attorney will go over the facts of your arrest and your charges and figure out how to proceed with your case. No two cases are the same, which means no attorney can tell you how they will work through your case until they have all the details and the information necessary. It’s important to call right away, though.