An arrest for suspected drunk driving can have severe consequences so you must respond aggressively. A guilty verdict can result in the loss of your driver’s license, your employment, an increase in insurance premiums, or even jail time.
Most people don’t know how to respond after a DUI arrest, which can lead to mistakes that make conviction far more likely. Here are the top mistakes people make after being arrested for a DUI.
Avoid Making These Mistakes After A DUI Arrest:
1. Don’t provide the police with evidence.
Don’t answer questions or volunteer information. Ask for a lawyer then remain silent – it is your Constitutional right. Following your arrest, be careful what you post on social. If your friends can see it, the Prosecutor will see it.
2. Make sure to request a hearing within 30 days following your arrest.
Refusal to take a blood-alcohol concentration or BAC test, or testing higher than .08, will result in an automatic driver’s license suspension. You have 30 days to request an Administrative Hearing to try to protect your license.
3. Ignoring court dates or deadlines.
Failing to appear in court or missing important deadlines can result in additional penalties, such as license suspension or even an arrest warrant being issued.
4. Don’t assume that a failed BAC test means a conviction is inevitable.
If you undergo a chemical test and are found to have drugs or alcohol in your system, you still have options. The Prosecutor still has to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and there are ways to introduce doubt about whether the chemical test was accurate. It may also be possible to prevent the failed test from being used against you (e.g., your Constitutional rights were violated during evidence collection).
5. Neglecting to understand and comply with license suspension requirements.
After a DUI, your driver’s license may be suspended or restricted. Failing to understand the specific requirements and restrictions can lead to further legal troubles if you’re caught driving while your license is suspended.
6. Continuing to drive under the influence.
One of the most significant mistakes individuals make is getting behind the wheel while under the influence again. Repeat offenses can lead to severe penalties, including increased fines, longer license suspensions, mandatory alcohol education programs, and even jail time.
7. Disregarding probation terms.
If you’re placed on probation as part of your DUI sentence, it’s crucial to strictly adhere to all the terms and conditions imposed by the court. Violating probation can result in additional penalties or even the revocation of probation, leading to imprisonment.
8. Failing to address alcohol or substance abuse issues.
A DUI arrest often indicates a problem with alcohol or substance abuse. Neglecting to seek help for these issues can have long-lasting consequences for your health, personal life, and future legal situations. It’s important to consider rehabilitation programs or counseling to address any underlying issues.
9. Failure to hire a qualified DUI attorney.
Many individuals make the mistake of not seeking legal representation after a DUI arrest. A skilled DUI defense attorney can guide you through the legal process, protect your rights, and help minimize the consequences. The sooner that you are represented, the better chance you have of minimizing or dismissing the case.
Make smart and informed choices and ensure that you do everything possible to try to avoid a conviction.