A DUI conviction in California can result in harsh penalties, like suspension of your drivers’ license, jail time and fines, and leave you with a criminal record. Based on this, if you are facing a DUI charge, it’s paramount to do everything in your capacity to protect your rights and your freedom. Here are four steps suggested by a DUI defense lawyer on what you should do after being charged with a DUI in California.
1. Do Not Share Any Information with the Law Enforcement Officer
You might have heard this several times before, but it bears repeating. Do not say anything to the police – at the time of your arrest or afterward. Regardless of what they tell you, you are not obligated to tell them anything, as you have the right to remain silent. Instead, let them know that you will only speak in the presence of a California DUI defense lawyer.
2. Submit to the Chemical Test When Asked
Under California’s implied consent law, it is mandatory for you to submit to a chemical test after a DUI arrest. Refusing to do so can result in harsher penalties, including suspension of your license for up to one year (if it is your first refusal) and longer jail time. Therefore, in most circumstances, it is prudent to submit to the test when asked to by a law enforcement officer.
3. Speak to a California DUI Defense Lawyer as Soon as Possible
The most important thing you need to do after being charged with a DUI in California is to contact a lawyer who specializes in DUI defense. A delay in hiring a lawyer could increase your chances of getting convicted, as it will give the prosecution sufficient time to build a strong case against you.
Moreover, without the guidance of a lawyer, you might unknowingly say or do something that could make things a lot worse for you. Clearly, hiring a skilled DUI defense lawyer should be your first priority – regardless of other factors.
4. Request an Administrative Hearing with Help from Your Lawyer
In California, once you are arrested for DUI, your driver’s license will be automatically suspended after a period of 30 days. To avoid the automatic suspension, you need to request what is called an administrative per se hearing with the DMV within 10 days of your arrest.
At the hearing, your lawyer will try to present a compelling case as to why your license should not be suspended. If you win, your license will not be suspended and you can keep driving unrestricted until your DUI charge is resolved. However, if your license does get suspended after the hearing, your lawyer may be able to guide you on how to get a restricted license, or otherwise be able to reinstate your driving privileges.
Choose the Right Criminal Defense Lawyer to Fight Your DUI Charges
At Paladin Legal Defenders, we have highly skilled attorneys with decades of experience in criminal defense. We can aggressively defend you against DUI charges and use the resources at our disposal to achieve the best outcome possible. Our legal team includes a former prosecutor and a former police officer, meaning we have the unique advantage of being able to anticipate the prosecution’s position and defend you accordingly.
To discuss your DUI case with an experienced California DUI defense lawyer, call us today at 714-536-9988 or contact us online and schedule a free consultation.