Experienced and Dedicated Glendale Attorneys Answer Frequently Asked Questions about Los Angeles Personal Injury, Criminal Law and Cannabis Regulation in California
If you are encountering a personal injury claim or arrest for the first time, or if you are exploring the idea of getting into the cannabis business in California, you likely have a lot of questions on your mind about the process involved. Below are answers to some frequently asked questions in these areas. If you have other questions or require immediate assistance after an arrest or car accident in Los Angeles County, call McReynolds Vardanyan at 818-855-2115 for a free consultation about your needs.
Personal Injury FAQs
Cannabis Business FAQs
Criminal Defense & DUI FAQs
Q. Can the police search my car if I get pulled over?
A. The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects against unreasonable search and seizure, and in general this means police must have a warrant or probable cause before they may conduct a search. However, there are times when police can conduct a warrantless search of you and your vehicle. For instance, if you are arrested, police can conduct a search of you and areas within your reach if they believe they may find evidence related to the charged offense. Also, if your car is impounded, the police can conduct an “inventory” search and seize items that may be used as evidence. While you are stopped, police can also search you and areas within your reach for weapons, for their own safety. Additionally, police can seize evidence of a crime that is in “plain view” inside your car when they pull you over.
Lastly, police can search your car without probable cause if you give them consent to search. Often, police may ask if they can search your car, and they may make it sound like you don’t have a choice, but you do. If police ask for your permission to conduct a search, you have the right to refuse. If they tell you they are going to search for one of the above reasons and don’t need your permission, you should not interfere, but share the details of the search with your attorney. If the search was illegal, your criminal defense lawyer may be able to get the evidence suppressed and even get the charges against you dropped.
Q. Can I lawfully refuse to take a breath test?
A. By driving on California roads, you have given your implied consent to submit to a chemical test of your blood or breath (or in some cases, urine) when ordered by the police. The only time you are required to submit to a test is if the police have placed you under arrest. If you refuse the test, your driver’s license will be automatically suspended for one year if it’s your first offense. You will also be subject to enhanced penalties on top of any sentence if you are convicted of DUI, including an additional 48 hours in the county jail for a first offense.
Don’t confuse a chemical test with a handheld preliminary alcohol screen. This device is subjective and nonscientific like other field sobriety tests, and the results are not admissible in court. Police use this device to help them build up probable cause to arrest you. You can refuse to submit to a preliminary alcohol screen or other field sobriety tests without fear of adverse consequences. The only time you are required to take a preliminary alcohol screen is if you are under 21 or are on probation for a previous DUI conviction.