Getting pulled over for a potential DUI by a police officer is a nerve-racking experience. The stress of the situation can cause people to not think clearly and rationally and make mistakes that can hurt them later. Here are some tips from a top Rancho Cordova DUI attorney on common mistakes people make and some defenses that can help you get exonerated.

Less is Best

Being pulled over to the side of the road with a police officer questioning you, traffic buzzing by and bright lights in your face can make the most stoic person extremely nervous. Many people talk more when nervous. Avoid talking needlessly. Be polite and answer questions but don’t “explain” to much, keep it simple. The less you say the better for you it will be. The officer is trained to get you talking as they know the more you say the more likely you will say something to incriminate yourself.

Sobriety Test

When you are pulled over to the side of the road you are at that time “detained” and not arrested. Even though you have not been arrested you still have your Miranda rights, one of which is to not to incriminate yourself. You can decline to answer questions such as “Do you feel the effects of alcohol?” However, this does not excuse you from giving the officer your driver’s license, proof of insurance and registration. But you can decline other questions.

Field sobriety tests are voluntary. These test are completely subjective and based solely on the officers interpretation. You can refuse to take a field sobriety test by politely declining and stating that you believe they are too subjective and not required by California law. At that time the office will have to make a determination if he believes there is cause to arrest you. If you are arrested you will then have to submit to a breath or blood test.

Hand holding keys with a blue car in the background.

Make Notes ASAP

If you do find that yourself charged for a DUI you need to write down and make a record of everything you can remember about the arrest and your evening at your earliest opportunity. This can provide crucial information for your defense. Don’t assume you’ll remember everything later.

The Ways to Help Your DUI Defenses

If you do find yourself charged with a DUI there are some ways that you can help yourself and your attorney to defend you. However, you should note that DUI laws are very complex and every case is different. Attempting to defend yourself can be a recipe for disaster. Lawyers study for years to be able to handle cases like these.

Some of the ways that you can assist your attorney is to provide as much detailed information about what you saw and heard as you can. This may help challenging the field sobriety test accuracy. A false high BAC results, non-compliance by the officer of Title 17, improper observation periods and failure to follow proper procedure to name just a few.

The best thing you can do is to reach out for local legal help right away. If you are in Sacramento or the Rancho Cordova area a top criminal defense lawyer at the Chastaine Law Center is available to talk to you.


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DUI Defense