DUI Information for Orange County:
Information on Encountering Law Enforcement:
When you have an encounter with a police officer, it is helpful to know what to expect and the best way to behave. The following information represents some basic guidelines for any interaction you may have and the best way to respond.
One of the most important things to remember is that you should remain polite and respectful at all times. Through your words, actions, and body language, show the officer respect and deference; never badmouth or taunt the officer. Also, don’t argue: remember that your actions and words can be used against you in court.
The best way to act is to cooperate and not be perceived as a threat:
If you are arrested, ask for a lawyer and make a note of the officer’s badge number, car number, or any other identifying information. Even if you are taken to a holding cell, you are allowed to ask the detention center officers for writing materials to record your recollection of the incident. It’s also helpful to identify witnesses and gather their names and phone numbers when possible.
Your rights are important, so you should feel free to file an official complaint with the Civilian Complaint Board or the internal affairs division at the police department. If you do wish to file a complaint, it is advisable to consult with a lawyer first. Your lawyer can help you determine whether the written complaint will adversely affect the outcome of the initial incident.
Please be advised that you should never interfere with effective law enforcement, but should always understand your own rights and responsibilities and how you may invoke them in your encounters or relationships with the police. All individuals have the right to courtesy and respectful police treatment and the police should be treated in kind. If you believe your rights have been violated, do not try to handle the matter on your own without consultation by an attorney. If you find yourself in any of the situations described herein, immediately contact the Law Office of Barry T. Simons and speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney to guide you through this process.
1. It isn’t unlawful to refuse to answer an officer’s questions, but doing so can increase suspicion and tension in the encounter. If an officer is questioning you based on a tip, or “exigent circumstances”, you can be lawfully detained so that the police can determine if you fit the description.
2. Depending on their suspicions, the police may opt to give you a “pat down” to search for concealed weapons. It is important not to physically resist, but you can verbally refuse consent for any further search. It’s also helpful to verbalize your non-consent loudly enough so that witnesses within earshot will be able to hear.
3. At some point during the process, you should clarify if you are actually under arrest and why you are under arrest. You have the right to understand what is happening, and if the officer hasn’t specifically identified it as being under arrest, you can ask if you are free to leave.
4. You should not, under any circumstances, criticize the officer or attempt to flee. Even if you feel like the action is justified, any aggressive move could be grounds for arrest.
1. As directed by the officer, produce your driver’s license and related documents. If they have probable cause, the police can search your car without a warrant. Recent legal decisions have expanded the parameters of where and when an officer can search as they attempt to ascertain your identity. To avoid any undue hassle, it’s best to have your license, registration, and proof of insurance in a convenient location; as always, you should be courteous and clear as you communicate with the police.
2. If you are being stopped for a potential DUI offense, the officer may give you a preliminary alcohol screening test. While it is your right to refuse that preliminary test, doing so doesn’t satisfy the Implied Consent requirement for taking a subsequent test once you have been moved to a police station or detention facility. If you do refuse the preliminary test, it is important to comply with the later Implied Consent test; refusing the Implied Consent test can lead to a one-year license suspension if it is eventually proved true in court or before the DMV.
3. If you receive a citation, you should sign it right away. Refusal to sign it can lead to your arrest, and you always have the right to challenge it in court at a later date with the advice of counsel.
4. Your driver’s license may be suspended if the officer suspects a DUI and you refuse to take a blood alcohol screening test. (Please refer back to section 2)
1. Before you even talk to the police, you have the right to stay silent and speak with your lawyer. After giving them your name and address, you aren’t required to provide any other explanations or information. The chance to make your case will come later in court with your lawyer by your side. It can be tempting to try talking your way out of the problem, but the risk is far greater that you’ll make the situation worse.
2. Ask to speak with an attorney as soon as possible. If the cost is prohibitive, you have the right to have a lawyer appointed at no cost to you. It’s very important to not say anything without your lawyer present, so make sure you ask the police about how to make contact with one.
3. Another crucial right after having been arrested is your right to place a local to an attorney, bail bondsman, or an acquaintance who can help you. The phone call must be private, so you should make sure that any communication with a lawyer or third party be discrete and unable to be overheard.
4. In some circumstances, you may be released on “your own recognizance” and without or lowered bail. If this happens, make sure you retain any documents that include the date for your court appearance. After you are released, you should contact your lawyer for advice about all of your legal options. If you are kept in custody, you will be brought before a judge on the day immediately following your arrest. This will generally occur within 48 hours of your arrest, so you should speak to a lawyer during that time before making any significant choices.
1. If the police show up at your front door, you have the right to refuse them access to your home if they don’t have a search warrant. If they do have a warrant, the document will provide a detailed account of the allowable search area and what they expect to find. After they give you a copy of the warrant, allow them to the conduct the search within the parameters of the document; don’t interfere or delay the process.
Any time the police arrive at your door and wish to enter, you should ask them to identify themselves with name and badge number. If they don’t have a warrant but claim that it’s an emergency, ask them to have their watch commander contact you before allowing them inside. Without a warrant or exigent circumstances, you should never allow the police to search your home without your consent. Even remaining silent or not verbalizing non-consent can be taken as implicit consent, so it is important that you be clear about your meaning.
2. Exigent circumstances can be defined as any emergency situation which would require an officer to act swiftly to counter a danger. (Examples: a person screaming, an in-progress chase that happens to intersect with your home.) In such an emergency, the police can lawfully enter and search your residence without obtaining a warrant in order to effectively resolve the situation.
3. The law allows for searches that are incidental to an arrest. This means that, if you are arrested, an officer can search you and the immediate area for evidence related to the circumstances. Though the proximity allowed by such a search is not definite, it usually refers to the room you’re in or any reasonably-related adjacent rooms.
Whether you were arrested in Laguna Beach, Newport Beach Irvine or Costa Mesa, the Orange County DUI Defense Lawyers of the Law Office of Barry T. Simons have the knowledge and experienced to defend you in your Orange County DUI case. The Laguna Beach DUI Defense Attorneys of the Law Office of Barry T. Simons understand the Orange County Courts and the local law enforcement agencies that patrol the Orange County Cities of Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, Irvine, Costa Mesa and every other City in the County of Orange. If you or a loved one is being charged with driving under the influence (DUI) in Irvine or any other City in Orange County, then you need to contact the Laguna Beach DUI Defense Lawyers of the Law Office of Barry T. Simons to defend you against your Orange County DUI charge. This one contact could change the outcome of your Orange County DUI case, whether you were arrested for DUI in Laguna Beach, Newport Beach Irvine or Costa Mesa, the Orange County DUI Defense Lawyers of the Law Office of Barry T. Simons are here to serve your Orange County DUI case needs.
DUI DEFENSE ATTORNEYS
The Law Office of Barry T. Simons
Lawyer's Court: 260 St. Ann's Drive
Laguna Beach, California 92651
Call (949) 497-1729 for a free consultation.
Phone: (949) 497-1729