1. Use your turn signal and slowly and carefully pull over to the side of the road. 2. Stay in the car, keep your hands on the wheel, and calmly wait for the police officer to approach. Do not attempt to leave your car and do not shuffle around in the glove compartment looking for documentation. 3. Act politely towards the police. Do not act as though you have anything to hide or that you have done anything wrong. Give a courteous greeting when you open the window to speak to the police officer, and follow his/her directions. 4. When you are asked, produce your driver’s license, registration, and insurance card. Stay calm and remember that the police are watching to see how you perform the maneuvers involved in getting these credentials. 5. You have the right to invoke the Fifth Amendment, which means you have the right to refrain from answering any and all questions that the police officer asks you. If the police officer asks if you have been drinking or if you think you are drunk, simply tell the police officer that you are claiming your Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate yourself. Do not discuss where you were, what you did, who you were with, or whether you were drinking. 6. The officer might ask you to take a breath test immediately, but the test is merely a preliminary alcohol screening, and is not the breath test you are required to take. You may refuse to take this breath test without losing your license. In fact, the preliminary alcohol screening device is not very accurate for a variety of reasons. If you have had anything to drink, it is best not to take this test. Be sure to tell the officer that you would like to refuse this preliminary screening test only and that you will submit to a blood or breath test at a police station. In California, you are required to submit to either a blood or breath test for alcohol once brought to the station. 7. Being candid with the police officer and telling him that you had one or two beers is not going to be of help to you. Most people say they had a “a few beers;” police officers hardly ever believe that. You may politely decline to answer any questions concerning drinking or where you were or who you were with. Do not argue with the police officer, but instead comply with whatever he says. 8. Do not get out of your car unless you are asked to do so. Make sure that you don’t stumble or trip when you get out. 9. Refuse to take any field sobriety tests; you are not required to complete any of these tests. Field sobriety tests are the ones where they ask you to walk heel to toe or put your finger to your nose or close your eyes and put your head back. You can fail these tests even if you are not under the influence of alcohol because of the time of day, poor balance, a medical condition, or poor vision. Always politely decline to take the test. 10. If you have been arrested for a DWI/DUI, it is very important to choose a lawyer who is competent and aggressive with skill and experience.
The Foxx Firm handles numerous DUIs and other types of misdemeanor cases every year. There are a number of procedural differences between misdemeanor and felony cases. In a misdemeanor case there is no preliminary hearing between arraignment and trial. After your arraignment on a misdemeanor, your case will be scheduled for trial with no preliminary hearing in between. Also, in a misdemeanor case only, your attorney can appear on your behalf, if you so choose, without you having to be present before the court for most stages of the case.
*Disclaimer: Any legal information presented herein is solely intended for the solicitation of criminal matters from the State of California and should not be construed to be formal legal advice or the commencement of the attorney-client relationship. Each state’s laws differ from another. Testimonials, outcomes, and results are based upon specific facts of each particular case and represent neither a promise nor a guarantee. Results are not typical. Please contact a criminal defense attorney for a consultation on your legal matter.