What to Do Immediately After a DUI Arrest in California

Being arrested for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) in California can be a bewildering and stressful experience. Knowing the right steps to take immediately following an arrest can significantly impact the outcome of your case. This guide aims to provide clear, actionable advice to help you navigate this challenging situation.

Step 1: Remain Calm and Exercise Your Rights

First and foremost, it's crucial to stay calm. Panicking or getting angry can only worsen the situation. Remember, you have the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. Politely inform the officer that you wish to exercise these rights. Do not provide any additional information or admit to anything, as it could be used against you in court.

Step 2: Understand the DUI Process

In California, a DUI arrest typically involves a field sobriety test and a breathalyzer or blood test to measure your Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC). Refusing these tests can lead to automatic license suspension under California's implied consent laws. It's important to understand the consequences of each action at this stage.

Step 3: Document Everything

As soon as possible, write down everything you remember about the arrest, including the time, location, what was said, and how the tests were conducted. Details can fade quickly, and this information can be crucial for your defense.

Step 4: Be Aware of the DMV Hearing

You have 10 days from the date of the arrest to request a hearing from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to challenge your license suspension. Failing to do so will result in automatic suspension. This administrative process is separate from your criminal court proceedings.

Step 5: Seek Legal Counsel

Consulting with a knowledgeable DUI attorney as soon as possible can greatly influence your case's outcome. An experienced lawyer can help navigate the complexities of DUI law, represent you in the DMV hearing, and develop a defense strategy for your criminal case.


A DUI arrest can be daunting, but taking these immediate steps can help protect your rights and prepare you for the upcoming legal process. Remember, the decisions you make now can have long-lasting effects on your life. Seeking professional legal advice is your best course of action to navigate this challenging time effectively.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. If you have been arrested for a DUI, it is strongly recommended that you consult with a qualified DUI attorney.

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The H Law Group is honored to be considered California's premier criminal defense firm. Taking the proper steps and making the right choices after a DUI is often complicated and overwhelming. The H Law Group is here to help and provide better resources to educate you during this traumatizing situation.

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California's Easiest DUI Guide. How to Deal With A DUI in Four Parts.

H Law Group is proud to present our DUI Guide. This guide is composed of four parts, each with important information on dealing with a DUI.
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