Arrests are not good news, and when that happens for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol or both, it is indeed something to worry about. The seriousness of the situation will vary depending on your BAC intoxication levels and your state of residence. If you love to party and you do not like hailing a cab back home, you should acquaint yourself with some of the state DUI laws.
What do you need to learn about DUI charges?
First, you need to learn how DUI works. Several fundamental elements make up a drunken driving case, and these include the following –
- Does the arrest pose a threat of jail time?
- Is there a possibility of the cancellation or suspension of driving privileges?
- How much financial expense are you looking at concerning fines?
If you are facing DUI charges, the police should give you the details of your BAC level. It might take you a few days to get the details of the field tests, but when you do, do not forget to compare them to your state’s laws. What you learn from it will influence your decision to retain an attorney or not.
What are the sobriety tests police officers administer?
There are several tests that police use as references to your level of sobriety. When the police officer pulls you over, he or she will administer at least one and two tests at the stop site. Recollect as much as you can about these tests, your performance and the remarks of the arresting officer. Note the details down in a journal. To help you remember about these tests, here’s a list of the most common tests each state has –
- The one-leg stand (OLS) test– it is the most common one where the officer asks you to stand on any one leg for 30 seconds to test your coordination and balance.
- The nystagmus test – the officer, shines a light on your eyes and asks you to shift your gaze from side-to-side following the flashlight.
- Walk and turn (WAT) test – it is the one we see in Hollywood movies and American TV series. The officer asks the arrested person to walk heel-to-toe on a straight line. He or she will give you other sets of instructions that you have to follow.
What to do immediately after a DUI arrest?
If you have taken any chemical test at the stop or afterward, pay attention to the finer details. When a police officer suspects a DUI due to reasons including bloodshot eyes, slurring speech, the smell of alcohol on the breath or person, or the sight of an open bottle of liquor in the car, he or she will want you to take one or multiple tests. These might include breath tests, blood tests, and urine tests. All 50 states have “implied consent” laws that require a driver under suspicion to take the test.
You may have heard from your peers and other attorneys that you can refuse the field tests for sobriety. Depending on the state you are in, you might not be under strict regulation to take the tests. However, always remember that if you do not take the tests later on at the station, they can use it against you against the court. In individual states, you can end up paying for DUI and refusal of compliance. Refusing formal chemical tests can result in the loss of driving privileges and even jail.
How can a professional DUI attorney help you?
You need to hire an attorney as soon as you can after your arrest. A criminal defense lawyer will help you form legal arguments. In cases, you don’t pick your attorney, the state will assign you one, and in all likelihood, they will already have several various cases to attend. A public defender has the training, experience, and skill to defend a DUI accused, but they rarely have the time a complicated drunken driving case demands. If the pieces of evidence against you are strong, you need to look for an attorney with excellent communication skills. Picking someone people know always helps since reputable lawyers have connections in the right places that can help you get a lighter sentence. Since acquittal is not a possibility in every case, you need to think of the next best deal you are going to get. Working with a well-known and experienced DUI attorney will increase your chances of getting off on a reduced sentence.
There are ways to beat a DUI, but that usually requires complex research, updated medical history, the testimony of at least one medical expert in case you want to prove that a medical condition you have could have been the cause. There are a few anomalies that cause human breath to smell like alcohol. Sometimes, people take medication that exacerbates the effect of alcohol. These medicines do not always come with cautionary messages, and doctors often forget to warn the patients against drinking. When on such medication (like psychoactive drugs, painkillers, and sleeping medication) even little amounts of alcohol can cause a state of inebriation.
Why is self-representation during a DUI, not a great idea?
You need the right criminal attorney to guide you out of jail and a permanent DUI record. Looking into criminal defense lawyers is not enough, you need to check out the ones that specialize in DUI cases only. He or she will help guide you through the process. Self-representation is not a smart option for someone, who does not have the knowledge or training in the matters of DUI. If you have a lawyer, he will take care of preparing the witness, review your testimony and check the evidence before the court date. He will also take care of all the photos and other documentation you can use during the trial. As you can understand, being a DUI lawyer involves a lot of hard work and an aptitude for details. Choosing a private attorney from a reputable firm should give you better chances at winning the case than working with a public defender.