What to Do If You Are Pulled Over for a DUI in California

Obviously, no one wants to be pulled over by the police, regardless of whether you have had alcohol in your system recently. But being pulled over by the police is not the same as being arrested, and being arrested for DUI is not the same as being convicted for DUI. A criminal DUI conviction can mean jail time, high fines, court fees, huge increases in your insurance rates, and a criminal record employers and other can see.   But what you do once you are pulled over by the police in California can have a significant impact on avoiding criminal consequences that can negatively impact you and your family for years to come.    Keep Calm: When you are pulled over, keep your hands on the wheel, and roll down the window if instructed by the police. The officer is in control, not you, so do not initiate action.   Provide ID: Police may legally ask you to provide your license and registration. If they ask you to do so, slowly obtain these items and hand them over.   Politely Decline to Answer Questions: Under the Constitution, you are not required to answer an officer’s questions. Simply and gently say you are exercising your right to silence.  Submit to Sobriety Tests: You do NOT have the right to refuse breathalyzer tests or other sobriety tests. Follow the officer’s instructions but do not provide information outside the tests.   If Arrested, Don’t Argue: The officer may decide to arrest you for DUI. If so, do not argue as that will likely make matters worse without providing any benefit.   Contact a DUI Attorney: Speak with an experienced DUI attorney as quickly as possible after an arrest to being the process of mounting your best defense.   Let Your Attorney Handle Your Defense: A good DUI attorney will present your best arguments in defense as well as negotiate with prosecutors for limited penalties if need be.