A DUI arrest in Huntington Beach is serious, but don’t lose hope. Even if the evidence against you seems solid, it’s rarely the full truth. Good DUI defense lawyers know how to look for issues like testing errors (which are surprisingly common with blood and breathalyzer tests) or officer mistakes during investigations.
You likely have more of a defense than you think. Get in touch with a Huntington Beach DUI attorney who understands the unique nature of these cases. They’ll look at the evidence and point out any weak points to help you avoid trial, reduce your sentence, or get you off completely.
What Should You Do If You’re Pulled Over for DUI?
If you get pulled over for a DUI, the best piece of advice is to avoid any behavior that could put you further in jeopardy during the stop. Here are seven things you should do right away:
1. Carefully Find an Area to Pull Over
During any traffic stop, it’s important to pull over safely out of the way of other traffic. The officer will be observing how you do this. They’ll look for unnaturally slow or erratic driving, pulling into an unsafe place, or any type of unusual driving patterns. This could influence what they put in their report after stopping you. The police report is vital to your hearings and related DUI trials.
2. Don’t Make Sudden Movements or Act Suspiciously
Police officers know to be cautious and ready to protect themselves if someone acts shady. They will approach your vehicle from the back so they can clearly see you. Avoid any actions that could increase suspicion and put the officer on guard, such as:
- Twisting around in your seat to watch the officer walk up
- Making any sudden movements
- Jumping out of your car, or getting out in any way
- Crouching down in your seat
- Reaching for anything in your car
It is best to keep your hands on the wheel and sit quietly as they approach.
3. Be Courteous
It can be hard to remember to be patient and polite when you’re pulled over. Don’t be rude, hostile, or resist arrest as this just gives them further reason to arrest you and increases your chances of being convicted. The officer is likely to go easier on you in their police report if you’re sincerely cooperative, helpful, and friendly.
4. Don’t Answer Questions That Could Incriminate You
You will likely be asked if you’ve been drinking and how much you’ve had to drink. Officers are trained to use any anxiety you have about pulling over against you. If you’re concerned your truthful answer to this will incriminate yourself, respond politely with, “I’m sorry, officer, but I don’t wish to answer these questions, thank you.”
Otherwise, any inconsistencies in your answers will be used against you in court. You may be further pressured and arrested, as well as lose your license, but this outcome is less severe than going to jail because you gave answers that incriminated you.
If you did only have one or two drinks that you don’t believe put you over the legal limit, you may use your own discretion whether you say so. However, if in doubt, do not lie, and know saying nothing is your safest option.
5. Decline the Field Sobriety Tests
Field sobriety tests (FSTs) are physical tests in a standard DUI investigation where an officer will ask you to step out of your vehicle and perform if they suspect you’re intoxicated. You might be asked to:
- Walk along a narrow line
- Stand or hop on one leg
- Follow an object with your eyes
- Say the alphabet
There are many problems with these tests. They aren’t always fair and can be used as grounds to arrest you instead of proving you’re sober. Once an officer believes you’re driving under the influence, there’s no way to “pass,” since most people are bound to make a mistake.
The best choice for most Huntington Beach drivers is to politely decline to perform the FSTs and not provide further incriminating evidence. You’ll likely be arrested for DUI for refusing a breathalyzer test, but chances are high that the officer planned to arrest you for it anyway.
6. Write Down Everything You Can Remember
As soon after the DUI arrest as possible, record your memories of the incident, including:
- Where you were and what you were doing before you got in the car
- What you drank and how much, including how long it had been between the drinks and getting pulled over
- What the officer said to you and how they behaved
- Where the stop happened
- Whether or not the officer read you your Miranda rights
- When you took the chemical test and how long it had been since you drank
- What you were wearing if you took the sobriety tests
The more details you can remember and write down about the arrest, the more it can help your lawyer fight your charges, even if a detail doesn’t seem particularly relevant at the time.
7. Call a Huntington Beach DUI Lawyer
The best thing you can do for yourself is to fight for your right to hire an experienced DUI defense attorney in Huntington Beach. They will understand the laws and process around DUIs to fight for your best outcome.
What Your Huntington Beach DUI Lawyer Can Do After Your Arrest
While you prepare yourself on what next steps could look like, your DUI attorney will handle your case and ensure your rights are being protected. They will look for holes in the prosecution’s techniques, any violation of your rights, and errors the officer may have made in an effort to negotiate for a plea bargain and/or win your case in court.
Even if you are convicted, your attorney will use strategies like these to reduce your penalty severities. A DUI lawyer can potentially impact your case in your favor by:
- Answering any questions you may and offering legal advice
- Gathering evidence from other parties involved
- Speak to your local Huntington Beach DMV, the court and police department on your behalf
- Collecting the police report and surveillance video of the accident
- Hiring an accident reconstructionist to put together the scene of the crash
Defenses Your Huntington Beach DUI Attorney Can Make
There are numerous loopholes that can appear within the prosecutor’s case against you. Your Huntington Beach DUI attorney can make any of the following defenses to prove your innocence and drop your charges:
- The chemical test was administered incorrectly and therefore inaccurate.
- The law enforcement officer did not inform you of your Miranda rights.
- Police officers aren’t typically reliable with their reports.
- The arrest occurred during an unlawful police stop.
- Outside factors affected your field sobriety test.
- The FSTs required by the police officer didn’t truly prove drunkenness.
Speak With a Huntington Beach DUI Lawyer Today
Our Los Angeles area drunk driving defense attorneys can get you in touch with the best DUI lawyer in Huntington Beach for your specific case and situation. Plus, they’ll offer you a no-obligation, FREE, consultation as soon as possible. Call us or complete the form to the right to get started.