As you know, operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or other psychoactive substances like illegal drugs is prohibited in the US, as well as the rest of the world.
However, that doesn’t seem to stop a lot of people to do just that – drive under the influence. If the police pull you over while you are intoxicated you will be charged with a DUI or driving under the influence.
How serious this charge is, depends on several factors, and can end up classifying your DUI as a misdemeanor or a felony. However, most people don’t know how to behave in the case of a DUI arrest (lowered inhibitions due to the intoxication may have something to do with it). That’s why it may be prudent to have a criminal defense attorney with you right from the start.
Knowing Your Rights
Do you know all the rights that you have after you’ve been arrested for a DUI? Probably not, except that you have the right to consult an attorney. And do you know who is supremely knowledgeable of your rights if you’ve been arrested – your attorney.
Therefore, consulting an attorney early on may save you a lot of headache down the line. Not only can your attorney prepare you for your day in court, but they are also instrumental in ensuring that your rights are honored. Consult this link to learn more about your rights.
Defending You Against Additional Charges
If you’ve been arrested, it is more likely than not that the police have some proof that you were, in fact, operating a vehicle under the influence of some substance. That is a charge which you will have to go to court to defend against.
However, it is not unlikely that the police may want to pad your case a bit, and add some other charge such as reckless driving or endangering others. Those charges might be pinned on you without you knowing that they are not a part of the original charge. However, with an attorney present, the police will be limited to charging you only with crimes that they have evidence for.
They Know the Way Around the Procedures
If this is your first driving offense, you may be at a loss what to do. Sure, there are a lot of useful resources, like one through this link but you still don’t necessarily need to know what is going on and what to do next.
In contrast, DUIs are some of the most common charges that criminal defense attorneys have to deal with, meaning that they are well versed in the procedure and all individual steps in the process.
If you find a suitable attorney, one who is patient and knowledgeable, they will be able and willing to ease you through the process, showing you all the pitfalls and potential problems along the way.
Managing Your Sentencing
A lot of DUI cases are more about mitigating and managing the sentence, rather than defending against the charges. Once a DUI arrest has been made, the police have firm evidence that you committed a crime, and that happens in a vast majority of cases.
That means that your defense lawyer is there to manage your trial in a way that you end up with a minimal sentence and that nothing else is added to your case.
Having an experienced and skilled attorney at your side may be the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony; between paying a fine and/or doing some community service versus serving some time in jail.
So, if you are faced with a DUI, think about what is at stake and how a more serious sentence might affect your life and your subsequent chance for gainful employment, housing, or a bank loan.