The best way to stay out of DUI trouble is to avoid drinking and driving in the first place, but we are all human and do make mistakes. The second best way to avoid problems is to make your first DUI your last, because after that point you are in danger of being charged with a felony. DUI law is complex, so here is a refresher on some common mistakes made after you are charged.
DUI Charges Are Serious
Let’s face it: when you drink and drive you are a danger on the road. You are being charged with a serious crime. On the other hand, you are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. That does not mean you can look at this as a minor problem. Even a first DUI can lead to long license suspensions, fines, and jail time. The more DUI charges you get, the greater the penalties. Take these charges seriously and you stand to save yourself some problems.
Don’t Miss Your Court Date
Perhaps the greatest and most common mistake is missing your initial court date. You might as well keep driving after an officer turns on his lights. You are then breaking the law. It’s likely a search warrant will be made for you, and when you are arrested, you will face even stiffer penalties. So make your court date.
Continuing to Drive
If you drive on a suspended license, you stand to get further charges brought against you. While it’s obvious some of us have to drive, you must wait until your license is reinstated. If you are pulled over, the officer will arrest you and immediately take you to jail.
Getting a Second DUI
As noted, the problem with DUI charges is that many are not for first time offenses. Some of us make this mistake more than once. If you can avoid getting a second, third, or further DUI, you can avoid jail time, extended license suspensions, excessive fines, and lawyer fees.
Out of State DUI
If you get an out of state DUI and do not take care of it, you may have a search warrant authorized against you. They do this even for speeding tickets. You must appear in court and fight your case. While you may want to avoid the problem, face it and be done.
You Need a Lawyer
Another common mistake those charged with a DUI make is not hiring an experienced DUI lawyer. You may consider not hiring a lawyer at all and defending yourself. You may simply hire no lawyer and plead guilty. Both are bad moves. Make no decision without the help of an experienced DUI lawyer.
Hiring a Cheap Lawyer
Another problem is that of hiring a lawyer who is ineffective, often because he or she charges a low fee. Ask yourself why they charge so little. They may have an excess of cases and have no real time to spend with you. They may lack any DUI experience. They may even lack court experience. Hire an experienced lawyer. Pay the extra money so you can avoid jail time and further penalties. You may be found innocent, and at the least you can lessen the penalties.