Being stopped for any reason can be terrifying, but if you’ve had a few drinks and are concerned about getting pulled over for a DUI, it can be downright terrifying. It is only normal to be concerned about a DUI arrest given the harsh penalties for a DUI offense in California, which may include jail time and the installation of an ignition interlock device.
Follow this advice on what to say and what not to say if you are stopped or detained on suspicion of driving while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs or alcohol to protect your DUI attorney’s ability to defend you. Contact Chambers Law Firm at 714-760-4088 to request a free legal consultation.
Use your right to remain silent
You may be familiar with the Miranda warnings if you watch Law & Order or any other legal or police-themed television program: “You have the right to stay silent, and everything you say can be used against you in a court of law.” Use that right if you are stopped or detained for DUI.
When you are under suspicion for a crime, speaking with a police officer almost always works against you. It is rarely beneficial. Respect the officer’s authority while exercising your constitutional rights. If you have been advised not to answer any questions, let the officer know that you are using your right to remain silent.
Anything you say really can be used against you
The majority of the time, being quiet will help your case while attempting to defend yourself may get you into more trouble. For instance, if you tell the officer you weren’t drinking, your lie may later be used against you. Even if your attorney is successful in getting other evidence (such chemical testing showing your blood alcohol content) excluded from the case, if you admit to having a particular number of drinks, it might still be used against you.
It may be challenging for your attorney to reach an agreement to have the charges dropped or lowered if you spoke to the officer about how much you had to drink, especially by lying. Because every remark you make can be used against you in court, you are essentially giving a testimony against yourself. When in doubt, keep in mind that you have the option to be silent, and use it.
There are other benefits to remaining silent
Another benefit of remaining silent if you are stopped for a DUI is that the officer will be less likely to smell alcohol on your breath or notice that your speech is slurred. Each of these could be indications of intoxication, adding to the body of evidence that could be used against you in court. You can restrict the officer’s ability to get this kind of evidence against you by speaking only when required to let them know that you are using your right to stay silent.
You are not required to answer the officer’s questions about where you’ve been and what you’ve been doing
Ultimately, never drinking and driving is the greatest strategy to avoid being detained for a DUI. But if you are stopped on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, act wisely and remain silent. Answer only the pertinent queries and offer only the pertinent details. Tell them your name, give them your registration and license if requested, and tell them you are otherwise remaining silent. If you are accused with DUI, using your right to keep silent can help a DUI lawyer defend you.
For anyone who has been detained for a DUI, contact Chambers Law Firm. Dan E. Chambers, an attorney with more than 30 years of experience, is knowledgeable in managing DUI matters. Call his office at 714-760-4088 or send an email to email@example.com to learn more about your DUI case and potential defenses.