DUI checkpoints can be intimidating and confusing, which makes it difficult to remember your rights in these situations. This confusion also makes it easy for police officers to manipulate you, which is only amplified by the fact that they can lie to you in order to get the information they desire. Here are the three most common lies that a police offer may tell you during a DUI checkpoint.
1. You Must Agree to a Field Sobriety Test
Police officers carry an authority that makes it seem as though you must comply with whatever they ask of you. Which is why it is understandable that you would think you must adhere to a police officer if they tell you that you need to perform a field sobriety test.
While an officer would never inform you of your right to refuse the sobriety test, this option is available to you. The only instance in which an officer can force you to take a field sobriety test is if they lawfully arrest you. If you refuse this test, then it could be considered an admission of guilt which would likely result in jail time and a license suspension. If you find yourself in this position, get an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side.
2. You Must Allow the Cop to Search Your Car
Your car is your private property, and the police do not have the right to search it unless they have a search warrant or unless any of the following are true:
You have consented to a search of your vehicle.
The police have “probable cause” that the car contains contraband or evidence of a crime.
The police are lawfully arresting an occupant of the car—or it is reasonable to believe the vehicle contains evidence about the crime relating to the arrest.
The car has been lawfully impounded by law enforcement (as may happen if you drive on a suspended license), and they are conducting an “inventory search.”
If none of these exceptions apply and they still insist on searching your vehicle, explain to them that you know your rights. Be sure to remain calm and respectful throughout this process, no matter how frustrating it is.
3. A Sign is Not Required
DUI checkpoints are never random; they must be approved by several tiers of authority and then planned and advertised to the public. This includes the usage of signs alerting drivers that they are approaching a DUI checkpoint.
Police officers cannot simply put up DUI checkpoints wherever they want without letting people know. There must be a clear sign to inform the public of the checkpoint. If there is no sign present, call your Rancho Cucamonga criminal defense lawyer right away.Even those who know their rights tend to lose their ground when facing a police officer. If you feel like your rights have been taken advantage of or violated during a DUI Checkpoint, then don’t hesitate to fight for the justice you deserve. Contact an experienced Rancho Cucamonga DUI attorney right away. Our lawyers at Newman & Allen have prosecutorial experience, so we understand exactly how the other side of the court operates. You can trust that our lawyers will be thorough in our investigation and work tirelessly to fight the evidence that’s presented against you.