We’ve previously covered what you should do when you have been pulled over by a police officer who may believe you have been driving under the influence, but this time we’ll be discussing things you absolutely shouldn’t do during and after a DUI traffic stop in North County San Diego. While your DUI lawyer can help you fight any charges you are facing, your case will be a lot easier if you don’t make any of these serious mistakes.
- Providing more information than necessary. When you have been pulled over, you are legally required to answer questions about your identity. You are not required to answer any questions regarding where you have been, where you are going and whether or not you have been drinking. Do not provide this information. If the officer asks you questions that do not relate to your identity, politely say that you are invoking your Fifth Amendment right and will not answer any such questions.
- Agreeing to take a field sobriety test or preliminary alcohol screening. If you are a minor, you are legally required to submit to a portable breathalyzer test when an officer requests you do so. Otherwise, you are not legally required to. No one is required to take a field sobriety test. Taking these tests will only provide the officer with more evidence, so you should never agree to take any tests other than the chemical test that occurs after you have been arrested.
- Refusing to take a chemical test. Whereas you are not required to take any tests at the site of the traffic stop, the Implied Consent Law means you are legally required to take a breath or blood test. You have the right to choose which test you want to take, but refusing to take a test will not help your case. In fact, you will lose your license for a year for refusing a breath or blood test. The police may even obtain a telephonic search warrant and force you to take a blood test. The prosecutors will also charge you with a refusal to take a chemical test, which carries mandatory jail time.
- Not contacting a Vista lawyer as soon as you are released. You only have ten days to file for a license suspension hearing with the DMV and the longer you wait to find a DUI attorney, the more details you will forget about your arrest. The tiniest details can sometimes change the results of a case, so contact a lawyer as soon as you can.
- Failing to fight your DMV license suspension. The DMV license suspension hearing not only allows you a chance to protect your license, it also allows you and your DUI attorney an opportunity to review and question the evidence against you. The experience serves as a sort of mini-trial that can make all the difference when it comes to preparing for the real trial.
- Not taking the charges seriously. A DUI is a misdemeanor charge that will remain on your criminal record. It will result in the loss of your license, major fines and you could even be incarcerated for drunk driving. If you have been charged with driving under the influence, you need to act immediately to protect your record and your license.
If you were charged with drunk driving in Vista and have already made one or more of these mistakes, don’t feel like your case is hopeless. A top Vista attorney like Peter M. Liss can help you fight the charges no matter what the individual circumstances of your case happen to be. If you have been charged with driving under the influence in North County, please call (760) 643-4050 to schedule a free initial consultation.
Creative Commons Image by Steven Damron