When investigated on suspicion of DUI, there are some things to do and to avoid if you want to help your case. Whether you have never been under suspicion of DUI or have prior convictions, how you act can play a significant role in the outcome of your situation. For additional help, make sure to get assistance from an Orange County DUI lawyer, Steven K. Bloom.
Do Contact a DUI Lawyer
First, if police arrest you for a DUI, make sure to contact a lawyer. Sound legal advice can help you to know when to speak and when to stay quiet. Plus, they can tell you about the specific laws that you could face charges for, such as one or more of the following:
- California Vehicle Code 23152(a): Makes driving a motorized vehicle under the influence of alcohol, regardless of blood alcohol level, illegal
- California Vehicle Code 23152(b): Codifies the illegal blood alcohol level for operating a vehicle at 0.08 percent or higher within three hours of arrest.
- California Vehicle Code 23152(f) and (g): Makes driving a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or a combination of drugs and alcohol
While prosecutors will attempt to charge under multiple vehicle codes, only punishment for one will occur. For California Vehicle Codes 23152 (a) and (b), the consequences are identical.
In California, if you have prior DUI convictions, you could face harsher punishments, even if the prior convictions occurred anytime within the previous ten years. To have a better chance with your case, you need good legal counsel from a qualified Orange County DUI defense attorney.
Don’t Take Breath Tests or Field Sobriety Tests Before Arrest
When stopped for suspicion of DUI, police may ask you to take a field sobriety test or a preliminary alcohol screening (PAS or breath test). You can refuse either of these. There are no consequences for doing so before the police arrest you. Plus, if you do take either test and don’t pass, the prosecutor could use that failure as evidence against you, regardless of your state of sobriety.
Do Remain Silent Even Before Arrest
After you get pulled over, you won’t have your rights read to you until after they arrest you. However, the prosecution can use anything that you say against you. Therefore, you should avoid saying anything and wield your right to remain silent, whether the police remind you of your rights or not.
Do Understand Penalties for Refusing Chemical Tests After Arrest
Understand though, that things change after an arrest on suspicion of DUI. First, you should still wait for legal counsel before speaking. However, you should take the chemical tests requested after your arrest. The police may only ask once, but you should not refuse. These tests can be blood, urine, or breath samples to find your blood alcohol level. If you refuse any of these and end up with a conviction, your punishment will be greater than if you did not refuse the tests.
Contact the Law Office of Steven K. Bloom for Professional Legal Advice If You Are Investigated on Suspicion of DUI
With California’s laws that keep track of all DUI convictions over the last decade, another instance could put you at risk for a harsher sentence. Don’t try to navigate the legal procedures from a DUI on your own. If you are being investigated on suspicion of DUI, contact the Law Office of Steven K. Bloom to see how you can get legal counsel for your case.