If I get arrested for a DUI, what should I say to police?
If you get arrested you should not say ANYTHING to the police. The only reason the police want to talk to you is so that they can further their investigation and try to twist what you are saying so that they can recommend additional charges to the DA’s office. The Supreme Court has ruled that once you say that you want to talk to your attorney the police must stop talking to you immediately and not reinitiate the conversation.
Can I be charged with DUI, or violating DUI probation if I am a passenger in a car?
Absolutely not. We get this question a lot. Apparently at court mandated DUI classes, the instructors have been telling people that they can not be a passenger in a car with someone who has drank or they will violate probation. Common DUI probation includes 1) don’t drive without a valid driver’s license 2) don’t drive without insurance 3) don’t drive with any alcohol in your system 4) don’t commit any other crimes. Being a passenger in a car with someone who is drinking is not illegal and is not a violation of DUI probation.
Do police need to read me my Miranda rights during a DUI stop?
Contrary to popular belief, the police do not need to read you your Miranda rights during a DUI stop. They are allowed to ask you questions about where you were, what you were doing and what you have been drinking. Once you are arrested or in custody then the police do have to read you your Miranda rights.
Can I refuse the preliminary alcohol screening test?
Yes. You can refuse a preliminary alcohol screening test and generally it is a good idea to do so. The officers and prosecutors will only use this against you to develop a drinking pattern and accuse you of having a higher BAC than you actually did. Note though that you cannot refuse the later blood or breath test. Only the preliminary alcohol screening test done at the scene can be refused.
Can I refuse the field sobriety tests?
Yes. You can refuse field sobriety tests. They are not a good idea to do as they can only be used against you in court. Field sobriety tests are very difficult to do even for a sober person. They let the officer give a subjective biased interpretation of your tests and that is used against you in court.
Can I refuse to give any type of chemical test?
Yes and No. A chemical test is the blood or breath test that is done at the jail. You can refuse this test and then the police agency is forced to get a warrant. A warrant for this can be obtained by telephone. If they get a warrant and you still refuse then they can forcefully take your blood.
If I have been pulled over can I refuse to give my driver’s license?
No. You cannot refuse to show them your driver’s license. The Supreme Court has ruled that asking to see a driver’s license is not a search and the individual needs to give it to the asking officer.
Can an out of state DUI be priorable?
It can be priorable. However, California is a state that has DUI laws that are different than most states. What this means is that if you have an out of state prior conviction then, depending on the state, it is likely it can be fought and not used as a prior against you. Ozols Law Firm has recently dealt with a case where the client had three prior DUI convictions and they were being accused of a fourth. A fourth time DUI is charged as a felony and it is presumably a prison case. Attorney Alex Ozols got every single prior dismissed and the client eventually pled guilty to a first time misdemeanor DUI.
What are the enhancements on a DUI?
The most common enhancements are BAC at or above a 0.15, BAC at or above a 0.20.
What is a “wet reckless” and what is a “dry reckless”?
A “wet reckless” is a lesser included offense to a DUI. The difference in penalties can be a lesser term of probation and a lesser fine. A wet reckless is still priorable as a DUI for 10 years and one will still incur the same license suspension as a DUI.
A “dry reckless” is a lesser included offense of a DUI. The difference in penalties is a much shorter term of probation and less probationary conditions. A dry reckless is NOT priorable and the individual will not incur any license suspension.
Are there alternatives to jail in San Diego?
YES. There are a lot of alternatives to jail in San Diego and an experienced DUI attorney will be able to present these options to a judge and to the prosecutor. The alternatives include public work service, community service, ankle bracelet and DUI classes.