San Diego Military Lawyer on 4th of July DUIs Checkpoints - Navy and Marines
It is the 4th of July in San Diego and there will be many DUI checkpoints. Everyone knows that, but what is not often clear is that FST’s or Field Sobriety Tests like the HGN or modified Rhomberg tests where you lift you leg and estimate time are all voluntary. That means you can politely decline or respectfully decline to take the FST’s but you must take a blood test or the official breathalizer in the larger machine under the implied consent law of California. As San Diego’s DUI Defense Law Firm that handles more DUI’s than almost all put together (our office is across the street from the Southbay Court House )
The easiest way to remember what to say to an officer is to download our app off the website and click on the IOS or Android version which will automatically download it for you. that asks you to perform the “heel to toe” and to say the ABC’s backwards (who does that anyway?) After you have downloaded the free app, you can scroll to “What to say to an officer” which will tell you precisely what will work - respectfully as is expected under USMJ. Also, if arrested, we can help you decide how and when to explain to you command what has happened. If you were not booked, the news to your command travels much slower. Although in the military you have the right to an attorney in state court (civilian and military proceedings) you do not have the right to remain silent but it is complicated, How and when you explain makes a big difference to your command.
The MOST important piece of advice is to NOT discuss your DUI arrest with anyone remotely related to the military. Friends, family, brothers and especially other sailors. You tend to get bad advice because someone that has gone through the process and did it poorly loves company as they say “misery loves company” on top of the fact that nobody wants you to do better than they did. So please keep it to yourself - AND your lawyer. My father, a sailor in World War II and a civilian court judge for 20 years would say this about bad news. “Half the people you tell your bad news could give a rat’s ass - the other half is glad to hear it!” Sound advice from a sailor who had seen it all.
San Diego Defenders has successfully represented more individuals serving our country in the military such as the Navy or Marines than any other DUI Lawyers in San Diego, Chula Vista, El Cajon and Federal Court than any law firm. You can download our app from our website www.sandiegodefenders.com or call 24/7 (619) 258-8888 for advice on what to tell your command.
Attorneys Dan Smith and Jon Pettis can answer your questions regarding what to say if you are arrested and are going Captain’s Mast or NJP under Article 15.
Sometimes the biggest concern is when your if your contract is up or admin sep is looming. My father, having been an enlisted man in World War II sometimes spoke of the difficulties of communication by a committee of enlisted men giving the officers opinions as to who they think is a sailor they want to keep around. For instance a client came into our office today after being out at sea getting certified on his aircraft carrier. He was happy, Jon Pettis and Dan Smith, the lawyers at San Diego Defenders saved his career by negotiating a “wet reckless” which the command said they would “overlook”, however a DUI would be the end of his 11 year career that he informed us will now be a 20 year career thanks to www.sandiegodefenders.com and the app he downloaded on his friends advice. Good advice. Call (619) 258-8888 and let us help you.