We often tell our clients that you do NOT have to answer Police Officer’s questions, perform breath test, or perform the field sobriety tests! People often say, “but if I do not comply, won’t I get arrested?”
Police officer needs to have probable cause to believe that you violated the law in order to arrest you. Remember, silence is NOT an admission of guilt!
Do you know why I pulled you over? If you say YES and give your reasoning, then police just made you admit guilt to something that he/she might not have even considered when pulling you over. It’s much safer to say: “NO, please tell me.” OR “I wish not to answer any questions at this time.”
Have you been drinking tonight? If you answer “NO” (when if fact you did), then you are lying. The prosecutor will later use that statement to show that you are not a truthful person. If you say “YES, but only 2 beers.” Well, you admitted to drinking and driving regardless of the amount. Under California law, you can be convicted of DUI regardless of the alcohol amount. DUI under VC23152(B) requires BAC above .08, but DUI under VC23152 does NOT. So, if asked have you been drinking. Answer: “I do not wish to answer any questions.”
If you do not perform the roadside test, you are not breaking any law. You also do not have to consent to the search of you car. DO NOT consent to the search of you car! Why would you want to have someone go though your personal belongings? The officer may let you go or arrest you relying on limited and weak evidence. The less you say or do, the less evidence there is that you broke a law. BUT if you choose to perform the tests, then you are just building the criminal case against yourself by providing more evidence.
Please stay safe on the road. If you need a criminal defense attorney, call 619-357-6677.
Delicino & Vialtsin, LLP answer general legal questions emailed to us on this blog. Feel free to send us YOUR question by email. Please do not email us confidential or time sensitive information, but call 619-357-6677 The answer suggested here is for general information ONLY and not to be construed as a legal advice. Further, the Q & A does not establish an attorney-client relationship with Delicino & Vialtsin, LLP. Anton Vialtsin Google+