Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious offense in Los Angeles, and law enforcement officers are always on the lookout for impaired drivers. If you are stopped for a suspected DUI, it is crucial to understand your rights and how to protect them. In this blog, we will discuss essential tips on navigating your rights during a Los Angeles DUI stop and how the experienced attorneys at Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP can help you defend your case.
1. Remain Calm and Polite
When pulled over by the police, it is natural to feel nervous or anxious. However, it is essential to remain calm and polite during the interaction. Aggressive or disrespectful behavior can escalate the situation and lead to additional charges. Remember that the officer is just doing their job, and your cooperation can go a long way in ensuring a smooth process.
2. Understand Your Right to Remain Silent
During a DUI stop, you have the right to remain silent under the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution. This means that you do not have to answer any questions that may incriminate you. While you must provide your driver's license, registration, and proof of insurance upon request, you can politely decline to answer any other questions. It is important to note that remaining silent does not mean being uncooperative. You can still comply with the officer's requests without providing self-incriminating information.
3. Know Your Rights Regarding Field Sobriety Tests and Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS) Tests
During a DUI stop, the officer may ask you to perform field sobriety tests (FSTs) or a preliminary alcohol screening (PAS) test. You have the right to refuse these tests, but doing so may result in the officer arresting you on suspicion of DUI. However, refusing these tests can also prevent the prosecution from using potentially incriminating evidence against you in court. It is crucial to weigh the pros and cons of taking these tests and make an informed decision based on your unique situation.
4. Understand the Consequences of Refusing a Chemical Test
Under California's implied consent law, if you are lawfully arrested for DUI, you are required to submit to a chemical test (blood or breath) to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC). Refusing to take this test can result in harsh penalties, including a one-year license suspension for a first-time refusal and increased penalties for subsequent refusals. It is essential to understand the consequences of refusing a chemical test and make an informed decision based on your unique situation.
5. Contact an Experienced DUI Attorney
If you are arrested for DUI in Los Angeles, it is crucial to contact an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible. The attorneys at Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP have extensive experience defending clients against DUI charges and can help you navigate the complex legal process. We will work tirelessly to protect your rights, challenge the evidence against you, and fight for the best possible outcome in your case.
Understanding your rights during a Los Angeles DUI stop is crucial to protecting yourself and your future. By remaining calm, knowing your rights, and seeking legal representation from the experienced attorneys at Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP, you can increase your chances of a successful outcome in your case. Contact us today for a free consultation and let us help you navigate this challenging time.