Emeryville is located in the corridor between Berkeley and Oakland, extending to the shore of the San Francisco Bay. Although Emeryville is small—just one square mile—its strategic location in the center of the Bay Area, along with transcontinental rail lines, make it a desirable place to live, work, and play.
If you are an Emeryville resident, you may be familiar with The Broken Rack on Peladeau Street, which offers regulation-sized pool tables, a full bar, and a tasty lineup of standard pub fare. Or, perhaps your tastes lean more toward The Prizefighter on Hollis Street, which is a laid-back venue, with shuffleboard, an outdoor patio, classic cocktails, and a variety of beers.
Suppose one day after work you decide to stop by one of these bars—or any bar in the Emeryville area—with your friends after a long day at work. At the time you stop to have a drink and relax, it is almost certain that you never envision being pulled over for DUI as you head home. Whether you did have too much to drink, or whether you are truly not driving while impaired, it is extremely important that you contact an experienced Emeryville DUI attorney immediately if you are charged with DUI.
It is equally important that you take your right to remain silent very seriously during the entirety of your DUI stop and subsequent arrest. Below, we explain why.
Why You Should Remain Silent When Stopped for DUI
Talking Can Only Hurt Your Case
Odds are you, like the majority of us, have certainly seen your share of police shows on television where the suspect is advised of their right to remain silent. Sadly, this very good advice tends to go by the wayside when you are a DUI suspect being questioned. You may feel as if you “explain” that you only had a drink or two, the officer will allow you to go home.
Unfortunately, this is rarely the case.
In fact, no matter what you say, if the police officer believes he has enough evidence to charge you with DUI, he will do so. If he doesn’t have sufficient evidence, then anything you say may actually provide him with what he needs to place you in handcuffs. In other words, talking to the police during a DUI stop will never help you, and can do considerable harm to your case.
You Cannot Be Arrested for Remaining Silent
If you are stopped for suspicion of DUI, you are likely totally surprised and unprepared for the situation you are facing. You may be intimidated by the police officers (which is deliberate in many cases), or you may feel as though you should appear cooperative so you look as though you have nothing to hide. If you have had enough alcohol to loosen your tongue a bit, you may believe you can talk your way out of a bad situation, or you may fear your refusal to talk will anger the police.
Remember, you cannot be taken to jail simply for being uncooperative with a police officer, so long as you are polite and give the officer your license and registration. It is your right to simply say you will not answer any questions until you have spoken to your attorney.
Your Silence Cannot Be Used as Evidence of Guilt
Your silence can never be used against you during a trial—the prosecutor is not allowed to tell the jury that you refused to converse with the police officer, and the police officer is not allowed to testify that you refused to talk to him. This makes your Constitutional right to remain silent a very powerful tool in the ultimate outcome of your case.
You absolutely have the right to refuse to answer any questions during a DUI stop other than giving your name and tendering your license and proof of insurance. Even if you are feeling pressured and intimidated, the law is on your side.
Talking Only Adds to the Evidence Against You
Even if you are saying something to the police officer which you consider to be relatively unimportant, you could still be damaging your future case. Let’s assume that you are 100 percent innocent of the DUI you are being charged with. You tell the officer that you were at your buddy’s bachelor party, but you only had one beer. Even though your intentions were good, in that you were attempting to tell the truth and clear yourself, the officer can now prove in court that you were definitely at a party where drinks were being served, and that you “admitted” to drinking. Don’t expect the officer to tell the whole truth—that you only had one beer. Just like that, you have effectively assisted in your prosecution for the charge of DUI.
In short, stay focused on the bigger picture, and don’t ever forget that the police are allowed to lie to you in an attempt to get you to talk. Remain silent, call your lawyer, and wait patiently until am Emeryville DUI attorney arrives. That way, your chances of a more positive outcome will increase significantly.
Call the Oakland Law Offices of Nabiel C. Ahmed today to set up a no-cost review of your case. Call us at (510) 907-6600 for a free consultation. Our firm is available for phone consultations and jail interviews.