If you’ve been arrested and charged with a DUI in Los Angeles, you probably don’t know what to do next. You might be confused, you might be upset, and you’re certainly not happy with the outcome of this situation. It’s confusing, terrifying, and it’s overwhelming for anyone to handle this kind of situation. However, the only thing you can do now is understand what happens next, how to proceed, and what steps to take following your arrest.
The first thing you must do when you are arrested for a DUI is stop talking. California law does allow anything you say to or in front of officers to be used against you in a court of law once you have been formally arrested. At this point, you want to be sure your arresting officer reads your Miranda Rights. If he or she does not read you the rights you are legally entitled to, they could lose their case. It’s legally required these rights are given to you, and you can fight to have charges dropped if you point out they were not issued and you didn’t know what rights you were entitled to take advantage of after your arrest.
Do not speak to officers at this point. All you must say to them following your arrest is you would like to call your attorney. The officers will offer you the use of a free public defender if you choose to forgo hiring your own attorney or you simply do not have the funds available to pay a private attorney. If you want to hire a Los Angeles DUI attorney, now is the time to call one with a good reputation and plenty of experience working cases of this nature.
Once you call your attorney, continue to say nothing until your attorney arrives at the jail to help you. You will sit down and speak to your attorney at this point. Be honest about what happened and leave nothing out when you tell your story. Even the most seemingly unimportant details might be more important than you realize.
For example, if the officer did not tell you why he or she pulled you over in the first place, that’s grounds for dismissal of your charges. Laws in California require all police officers have a valid reason for pulling a person over. The reason must to conveyed to you when you roll down your window to speak to an officer. It’s called probable cause, and it must fall within the legal confines of the law.
An officer might pull you over because your car was violating the law with a broken light, a missing plate, an expired tag, etc.. An officer might pull you over for breaking the law while driving, but the stipulation is that the officer must witness you breaking the law to pull you over. They must see you speeding, running lights or signs, passing illegally, or doing anything else that’s not considered legal in California. If no probable cause is recorded, your attorney can motion to have your charges dropped.
Work with Your Attorney
Now that you’ve called your attorney and you’re working on being released on your own recognizance or bail, you must listen to your attorney and work together. This means you must write a letter to the DMV within 10 days of your arrest to ask to have a hearing to reinstate your license otherwise it’s suspended until further notice. You must show up in court for all hearings if your arrest is a felony arrest. If this is your first offense and no one was injured and no property was damaged, you’re being charged with a misdemeanor DUI. You are not required to show up for your hearings if your attorney is present.
Your job is to work with your attorney and cooperate with him or her at this point. This person is working for you, and you must do what he or she tells you to do if you want to get out of jail and go on with your life. You are facing jail time, fines, and even a suspended license if you are convicted of a DUI. Work with your attorney, and you might just see your charges reduced or dropped.