If you or a loved one have been hit with a Driving Under the Influence charge, you need to get in touch with an attorney ASAP. DUIs are very serious charges and could majorly impact your life. DUI lawyers can help. Someone might lose their license or have it seriously restricted. Likewise, some countries ban people with DUIs from visiting, many employers will turn away job applicants, and court fees can surge into thousands of dollars; DUI consequences can be quite high.
You may be wondering which factors indicate an impaired driver. Bad driving is the biggest culprit, including swerving over lanes or failing to stop in time. If you have questions like what day has the most DUI arrests, an attorney can help. Significant holidays, like New Year’s Eve, often see DUI arrests surge since these occasions see a large volume of drivers on the road.
What happens if you crash your car while drunk? You’re likely looking at serious charges and should contact a lawyer as quickly as possible. A lawyer may be able to get charges dropped if the police handled the arrest or pullover wrong. Even if charges aren’t dropped, a lawyer may be able to reduce fees, jail sentences, and the like.
When you are pulled over for driving under the influence (DUI), it might be a really scary experience. You might be facing serious consequences — the intimidation of the criminal law process, expensive fines and DUI attorney costs, losing your driver’s license, possibly probation, or even jail time. If this is your third DUI misdemeanor, your charges might be classed with other serious felonies, and could land you an extensive prison sentence.
Before you ever are in a position where there are red and blue lights flashing in your rear view mirror, you should know how to handle yourself to prevent having the book thrown at you for driving under the influence:
- Think before you drink.
Although the consequences of getting behind the wheel while inebriated could be deadly, most drunk drivers are not bad people. They are working professionals, they are moms and dads, they are otherwise upstanding citizens who just underestimated their alcohol limit.
After putting back a drink or two, it is critical to be extremely cautious about your state of mind before driving. In many cases, it’s a good idea to have someone else judge whether or not you are fit to drive, it’s easy to not feel as incapacitated as you really are until you’ve made a terrible mistake. The best way to avoid needing a DUI lawyer is to not drink and drive.
- Exercise your right to remain silent.
Let’s say you skipped over the previous point and got behind the wheel when it would have been a better idea to call an Uber. Let’s say that you made a seeming mild driving mistake that caught a police officer’s attention and now you’re sitting on the side of the road waiting for him to approach.
It’s not ideal, but you can make a bad situation a lot worse by running your mouth (especially if the alcohol in your blood is loosening your inhibitions). Give the officer the information you are required to, but nothing more. You are required to supply your name, your license, registration and proof of insurance. The US Bill of Rights protects you from having to answer any questions that could be self-incriminating. That means you do not have to tell the officer if you’ve been drinking, or how much you had to drink. By all means, it’s in your best interest to remain respectful to the officer, but remember, it is your right to decline any questions that could worsen your cause. You can answer, “I prefer not to answer that question” or simply, “I’m not sure, Officer” if you are asked anything that could lead to an admission of guilt.
- Do not submit to any field sobriety tests.
If the officer asks you to walk on a straight line, to recite the alphabet backwards, or to take a breathalyzer, they already have reasonable suspicion that you are driving under the influence. You are not obligated to take any of these field sobriety tests, and doing so only gives the officer more evidence to use against you (regardless of what they say — they are not trying to help you by asking for this).
If the officer brings you to the station, you will need submit a breathalyzer test. However, before you are arrested, you do not have to and nothing good will come of it.
- Find a good lawyer.
Let’s say this whole situation has escalated passed points one through three, and now you’re facing DUI charges; it is time to find a good lawyer. Your ability to find a good lawyer to fight your DUI charge could be the difference between getting a fine and having to do hard time. When you begin to find a good lawyer, it is important to look for the following qualities:
- Specializing in DUI defense.
- Years of experience.
- A reputation for winning DUI cases.
- Good reviews from other clients (either word-of mouth or online).
Sometime (but not always), the good DUI lawyers may cost more for their services. If the attorney is good at what they do, it might be worth the investment, to avoid the penalties of driving while intoxicated. The rate doesn’t equal quality; cost just shouldn’t be the determining factor.
Do you have any other tips to add to our list? Please share below!