Getting pulled over by a police officer on suspicion of drunk driving isn’t exactly the way you’d like your evening to end, but it’s something that you can’t really do anything about except comply. You’d be in a whole world of trouble if you didn’t.
However, if you do get in trouble by getting arrested for a DUI anyway, there are a number of things you need to do to better your chances of beating the DUI charge.
Consequences of a DUI
Before delving into what you need to do if you get arrested for a DUI, you need to be aware of what would happen if you’re convicted of the crime.
You could face jail time, and the length of the sentence would depend on the DUI charge and other circumstances. You will also be made to pay heavy fines that will definitely make a dent on your finances.
In most states, a first-time DUI conviction also leads to the mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device, which requires the offender to blow into the device before he or she can start the vehicle. The IID measures the alcohol in the driver’s system, and temporarily locks the ignition of the vehicle, effectively preventing the driver from driving and causing harm to anyone.
Get the services of an experienced DUI lawyer
No other step is more important or urgent than actually contacting a lawyer who specializes in DUI cases the moment you get arrested for a DUI. While you can always choose to represent yourself in court or maybe ask a friend who’s a lawyer but isn’t a DUI attorney to defend you, keep in mind that a DUI conviction can get you significant jail time and cost you thousands of dollars in fines. We’re not even talking about the income you’re going to lose or how a conviction could ruin your career potential for the rest of your life. Contact a skilled and experienced DUI attorney who knows the ins and outs of DUI laws and procedures, and improve your chances of dodging a DUI conviction.
Petition the DMV for a license suspension hearing
Would you still want to drive after your DUI arrest and during your DUI legal proceedings? Then request a license suspension hearing within 10 calendar days of your arrest. Fail to do this, and you can say goodbye to your drivers’ license for at least four months, as the DMV will automatically suspend it.
Have your DUI lawyer get hold of all police records about your arrest
You would want to be armed with every possible detail of your DUI arrest, so it only makes sense to obtain all police records related to it. Every question that was asked of you by the police officer, your responses to the said questions, results of breathalyzer tests or field sobriety tests, or even the manner in which the officer stopped your car will all matter during your trial. In some cases, those details might just get you off the hook.
Work with your DUI attorney on your defense
Your DUI attorney knows how to go about defending you in court, but your cooperation with him or her is of paramount importance. Your conviction, acquittal, or reduction in penalties depends on the evidence against you, and your lawyer will need your side of the story and any other evidence you can provide to help him or her decide how to approach your case.
If the evidence against you is overwhelming and conviction is a foregone conclusion, your DUI attorney can find ways to negotiate with the prosecutor for a lesser charge and therefore lesser penalties. Your DUI lawyer can also question the sufficiency of the evidence against you, and even challenge the constitutionality of your arrest. Your input is essential, and your DUI attorney solely needs it to help you out.
Kevin Crowley is an experienced DUI lawyer at Lane, Hupp & Crowley PLC, a team of criminal defense lawyers in Phoenix, Arizona. He enjoys writing about law and helping his clients handle their legal needs.