Five Mistakes People Make After Their DUI Arrest
Mistake #1 - Not hiring a DUI attorney
DUI laws are complex, so are the procedures and court processes. Depending on your state, you could have to be prepared for two hearings: your criminal case in court and your license revocation hearing at the DMV. DUI attorneys are experienced in handling hundreds to thousands of cases and they know the right questions to ask to take advantage of weaknesses in the Prosecutions case. They will know all of the procedures that the police are required to follow and can negotiate with the Prosecutor to possibly get your charge reduced or dismissed. You could be facing possible jail time, thousands of dollars in DUI fines, and untold hours of DUI School and/or Community Service. A DUI attorney knows what to do to minimize DWI penalties and help you fight your DWI charge.
Mistake #2 - Not taking the DUI seriously enough
A DUI conviction is not a situation where you pay a fine and put the matter behind you. A DUI conviction will follow you the rest of your life and could affect current and future employment, insurance rates, and your ability to drive legally in your state. The DMV will keep the DUI conviction on your driving record for the rest of your life. You are facing thousands of dollars in increased auto insurance rates, not to mention possible jail and probation.
Mistake #3 - Assuming you cannot win your DUI case
Most people think they do not have a chance to beat their DUI charge at trial. Maybe they failed the breath test, or there was an open can of beer in their car and they think nobody will believe them. The case against you may not be as strong as you think. Your DUI attorney knows the guidelines that police are required to follow when they stop you, when they administer field sobriety tests, and most importantly, when they oversee your chemical tests. Did you know that there are many factors that can skew the breath test results? Did you know that the portable breath test devices used by police are notoriously unreliable? A simple fever can produce a false high result. Your DUI attorney can raise serious questions about your breath test result in court.
Mistake # 4 - Not fighting the revocation of your license
Every state has different procedures that govern what happens to your license after a DUI arrest. Many of them have a short window for you to file the proper paperwork to contest your license suspension. If you do not petition for a hearing, you will automatically lose your license. Your DUI attorney can help you with the process in your state.
Mistake # 5 - Taking the Prosecutors first offer so you can put the matter behind you
Negotiating a quick plea bargain with the Prosecutor may not be best; it is simply the fastest way to get rid of your DUI case with the least amount of work. If you accept a plea at this stage, you are admitting guilt and opening the door to all of the DUI penalties and DUI fees of the DUI conviction. You lose the opportunity to let the judge rule on constitutional challenges and you dont force the State to prove its DUI case against you. These are only five of the most common mistakes made by normal people who find themselves charged with a DUI. Most of the more harmful mistakes can be avoided by hiring an experienced DUI attorney in your area.