5 Important Basics to Help You Fight Your DUI Case
After being arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated, you might be feeling hopeless and unprepared to take on your case. But don't worry! Just because you're looking at criminal charges doesn't mean you're out of options. These five basics to help you fight your DUI case will help you handle everything from preparations to talking with your lawyer to get the best possible outcome in your case.
1. Choose the Right DWI Lawyer
Hiring a DWI lawyer is one of your most important decisions if authorities have charged you with a DWI. Choosing an attorney based on price alone could be one of your biggest mistakes. Choose someone who knows how to fight a DWI case, and avoid inexperienced lawyers who don't know what they're doing.
Make sure you interview multiple attorneys before hiring one. Some questions to ask: Do you have experience handling cases like mine? How many cases like mine have you handled? What are my chances of winning? How much will it cost me? A reliable DUI lawyer will help you beat your charges and keep you out of jail.
2. Go Through Standard Protocol
If the police pull you over for a DUI, law enforcement will likely ask you to perform basic field sobriety tests. In addition to these exercises, which are there to determine if you're under the influence of alcohol or drugs, it's essential to know what comes next. A police officer will take your license and registration back to their squad car in most cases.
They may also ask you to get out of your vehicle and undergo additional testing, such as walking in a straight line or touching your finger to your nose. While all of these tests are voluntary, if you refuse to take them, authorities can use that against you in court.
Also, refusing to take a breathalyzer test can result in an automatic one-year suspension of your driver's license and stiffer penalties. It's, therefore, crucial to follow standard protocol when dealing with police officers. It might not seem like much at first, but going through standard protocol could help you fight your DUI case later on down the road.
3. Understand DUI Laws and Penalties
In some states, the first offense of driving under the influence can land you in jail for up to six months and cost you up to $1,000 in fines. If convicted, having a DUI on your record can result in license suspension and increased insurance rates. So, police arrest you on suspicion of driving under the influence, it's essential to understand how those laws apply to your case.
For example, most states require that you submit to a blood-alcohol test when pulled over by police. Refusing such a test could lead to an automatic suspension of your driver's license (even if they later drop the charges). And even if you aren't charged with DUI, refusing such a test could still lead to other consequences—such as being cited for reckless driving or disorderly conduct.
4. Have an Open Line of Communication with Your Lawyer
To be successful in court, you need to have an open line of communication with your lawyer. If they don't know what's going on with you, they can't help defend you. Even worse, if there are any problems with your case or you fail to follow through on tasks that could get your charge reduced or dropped entirely (like attending court regularly), there might not be anything they can do. That's why it's crucial to stay in touch constantly.
Your DWI lawyer is your advocate and ally, so make sure you let them know about any changes in your life that may affect your case. For example, if you move out of state and have to change lawyers, let them know so they can transfer all of their information over to your new attorney.
5. Prepare for Court
If law enforcement officers have arrested and charged you with a DUI, you must prepare for court.
- First, communicate with your attorney
- Second, understand your rights and responsibilities
- Third, know what evidence is there against you
- Fourth, develop a defense strategy
- Fifth, build your case for trial
There are ways to fight these charges even if your blood alcohol content (BAC) was .08 or higher, above the legal limit in all 50 states. It is crucial to work closely with an experienced criminal defense attorney throughout each step, from investigation through trial.
If you're under arrest for driving under the influence, keep in mind that you can win your case with proper preparation. It's essential to speak with a skilled DWI lawyer as soon as possible after your arrest to ensure you cover all your bases. A reasonable attorney will help guide you through court proceedings and fight to protect your rights every step of the way. Take care and be safe on the road!