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What to Do If You’re Arrested for DUI in California: Step-by-Step Guide


Being arrested for driving drunk can make anyone feel concerned about what the future might hold. DUIs are serious and can result in jail time, driver’s license suspension, and steep fines, so it makes sense to worry about how this charge will affect you.

However, you’re more in control of your case than you realize, since taking the right steps can have a major impact on the results you get. So, instead of spending time worrying about your possible penalties, consider some ways in which you can help your DUI case.

Know Your Rights

Even when police suspect you broke the law, they’re expected to abide by your rights. Among the most important ones is the right to remain silent so you don’t incriminate yourself. This doesn’t mean you should stay silent during the entire arrest, but it does mean you should provide only basic information.

For example, when the police ask for your name, driver’s license, registration, and proof of car insurance, you should provide these as requested. However, if they ask where you’re heading, where you’re coming from, or how much you’ve had to drink, you can politely decline to provide answers.

With these questions, the police are looking for information to support their assumption that you’re driving drunk. Your answers could help build the case against you, and you likely won’t even realize it. This is precisely why you have the right to remain silent during your arrest and should use it.

Record Everything You Can Remember

After your arrest, your next step should be to try to remember as much as you can about the situation. It might all feel like a blur, especially if you were impaired or just in shock at being arrested. But if you sit down and go through the events in your mind, you’ll likely remember some details that could help your case once you write them down.

Start by thinking about where you were, who you were with, and how many drinks you had before you got in the car. Then, consider your route as you drove to your next destination. Think about what you were doing before you got pulled over, such as changing the radio station, looking at your phone, or rushing to make the light before it turned red.

Next, consider how your interactions with the police went. Try to remember how they approached you, whether they read you your Miranda rights, which tests they offered, and which questions they asked.

Write down every detail you can think of, as certain information can help with your legal defense. You might think there’s too much evidence against you to fight back, but if it turns out that the police didn’t read you your rights or you were driving while distracted rather than drunk, you may be able to get the charges dropped or reduced.

Call Experienced DUI Lawyers

Your next step should be to look for California DUI defense lawyers who have represented numerous drivers charged with DUI. Most law firms offer free initial consultations, so it won’t cost you anything to learn about your legal options. If you talk to a lawyer who believes there’s a chance to reduce your charges but you’re worried about the cost of legal fees, ask about payment plans before you begin your case.

It’s important to hire a lawyer as soon as possible because your driver’s license will be suspended unless you request a DMV hearing within ten days of your DUI arrest. If you hire a criminal defense attorney right away, they can ensure you’re prepared for the hearing so you have a chance to keep your license. If you lose the DMV hearing, your attorney can help you request a restricted license so you can drive to work and other essential locations during the driver’s license suspension period.

If you were arrested for DUI and are ready to get legal advice from caring, skilled attorneys, call Patrick Silva, Attorneys at Law. We’re eager to review your case and develop a legal defense angle that could result in the best possible outcome for you. Call our law firm at 909-500-4819 to schedule your free initial consultation.

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