Have you gone out with friends for a drink or two? Did a few drinks turn into dozens? Judging from experience, we know what may have happened – you sat in a vehicle and drove yourself home, or someone else did it while you were a passenger. You got away with it once, maybe even twice. But what happens when you get caught for drunken driving?
Even if you are not behind the wheel, you could still be facing charges for a DUI stop.
Know Your Rights
If that situation ever happens, it is important that you know your rights. Remain calm and civilized, and do exactly as the police offer says. If you are asked to leave the vehicle, do so without any struggle. Police officers in California will not search you until they have a reason to believe that you have illegal drugs or substances on you, or that you have committed a crime. Even when pulled over, you still have constitutional rights:
• You have the right to remain silent
• You have the right to refuse consent to a search of yourself
• You have the right to leave if you are not under arrest
The key is to remain calm and let the police officer do his work. If the person behind the wheel is intoxicated, he/she will face criminal charges for driving under the influence (DUI). As a passenger, you cannot be charged with driving under the influence of alcohol unless you were:
• Physically behind the wheel
• Controlling the vehicle with one or both hands
• In control of the vehicle when it ended up in an accident
• Steering while the driver was distracted or doing something else
In order to charge you with DUI, prosecutors have to actually prove the following:
• That you were willfully under the influence of alcohol or other drugs
• That you were in a public place when you got arrested or pulled over (roads are considered a public place)
• You were obstructing or preventing the use of a street, sidewalk or another public path
These are all hard-to-prove claims, but just in case, you should consult with DUI Defense Attorneys in Los Angeles. Learn how you can prepare a defense case, and learn more about your rights and how you should behave in similar situations. Their consultations are free of charge, so call today and schedule yours. You will be given a free case evaluation and will be provided with legal guidance.
Contact An Attorney Immediately
If you have been arrested or charged with DUI as a passenger, you should immediately contact one of our highly knowledgeable Los Angeles DUI Defense Attorneys. This is a very complex process, and you are going to need someone with experience to guide you through it. The attorneys have decades of combined experience, and will gladly help you get out of this situation. Don’t wait to give Okabe & Haushalter a call; they are here to help you protect your legal rights.