Many people visiting a Redwood City DUI attorney for the first time have a lot of preconceived notions that must be addressed before crafting a defense. It’s important to address these common myths with a Redwood City DUI lawyer in order to ensure the best possible outcome in your case.
Myth #1: My driving privileges will automatically be suspended if I refuse a field sobriety test when pulled over.
A good number of people visiting a Redwood City DUI lawyer had this misconception, which subsequently led to their arrest. Field sobriety tests are typically used to establish probable cause for an arrest or for performing chemical testing. Refusal of these field sobriety tests is authorized under law. If you refuse a field sobriety test, the odds of an officer establishing probable cause for an arrest is greatly reduced.
Myth #2: I am better off to refuse chemical testing if I know I am intoxicated.
Under California law, you could face severe sanctions, simply for refusing chemical testing. You can lose your license for up to one year if this is your first refusal. The length of this suspension increases to two years if you have previously refused a breathalyzer or have been convicted of another DUI within the past ten years. This suspension becomes effective, even if you are later found not guilty or have your charges dropped.
Myth #3: After passing field sobriety tests, the officer is required to release me.
The officer may or may not release you, depending on whether there are other extenuating circumstances that leads him or her to believe you are intoxicated. For example, if you smell of alcohol or have slurred speech, you could then be taken into custody, even if you have already passed a field sobriety test.
Myth #4 If I turn around at a sobriety checkpoint, I will not be subject to a breathalyzer test.
Police watch for people who are turning around just before reaching a sobriety checkpoint. If you are observed doing this, you could be subsequently pulled over and asked to comply. If you refuse, the penalties are the same as if you had gone through the sobriety checkpoint and were found to be intoxicated.
Myth #5: If I agree to chemical testing, I am allowed to wait up to two hours before taking it.
The law requires that anyone arrested for a DUI submit to a chemical test within two hours of being apprehended. The exact time when this test is administered will normally be dictated by the arresting officer. You do however have the right to consult with a Redwood City DUI attorney prior to testing, and may also contact an attorney after you have been formally arrested.
Myth #6: I am allowed to choose which chemical test I am given.
The exact test you are administered will depend on a number of factors, such as the availability of equipment and whether or not trained personnel are present. As such, the officer in charge can dictate whether you receive a breath, blood, or urine test. If you refuse a breath or urine test, an officer may obtain a warrant from a judge to obtain blood from you without your consent.
Myth #7: I cannot have my own chemical test performed.
After taking the police-ordered chemical test, you may then have your own test performed. You are also able to choose which type of chemical test you undergo. To qualify, you should request independent testing by first speaking with a Redwood City DUI lawyer, and must also be willing to pay for the test at your own expense. To ensure accurate results, this test must be performed within a reasonable amount of time after the first exam.
Myth #8: I shouldn’t be charged with a DUI, since I was not actually caught driving a vehicle.
Police may bring about DUI charges as a result of either direct or indirect evidence. An example of indirect evidence is whenever police find you in a state of intoxication, and you admit to having driven only a short time earlier. In this case, your own testimony could be used as justification for bringing charges. You could also need a Redwood City DUI attorney if you are found simply sitting behind the wheel of a parked vehicle, because police may easily deduce that you drove it to that location in your present state.
Myth #9: There’s no need to fight a DUI charge. I am destined to lose my case.
The fact is that everyone is considered innocent until proven guilty under the law, including DUI offenders. In fact, it is common practice for defendants to plead “not guilty” during an initial hearing. There are actually several things that could result in your charges being dropped or reduced. A few of these include illegally-gathered evidence, faulty equipment, or improper testing procedures. The role of a Redwood City DUI attorney is to find discrepancies in the evidence that could lead to its dismissal. Many times, this leads prosecutors with inadequate evidence to pursue charges.
Myth #10: The officer didn’t read me my Miranda Rights, so my charges should be dismissed.
Miranda warnings are only required whenever there is an interrogation, not an arrest. As such, you may not always have your rights read at the scene, but should nonetheless be given them before being interviewed by an officer.Been Arrested? Don’t Delay Contacting a Redwood City DUI Attorney
For the best possible outcome in your case, contact a Redwood City DUI lawyer from Silveira Law at (415) 795-3890 right now.