When you get a DUI, the next few years of your life are determined by the competency of your lawyer. Their ability to research, argue, and negotiate your case could keep your DUI off your record – or send you to prison.
How do you make sure you have the right DUI lawyer by your side?
Here’s what everyone facing a DUI charge needs to know
How to Start the Search for a DUI Lawyer
Your first stop should always be with a lawyer with plenty of experience or even expertise in DUI cases. That means you’ll need a criminal lawyer licensed to practice in your state who advertises experience in drunk driving cases.
Once you have a list of DUI lawyers, start looking at their testimonials. Why are testimonials important? Win or loss rates don’t tell you much on their own. They’re just numbers. You also want to know what kinds of cases they win and how past clients feel about working with that attorney.
For example, is the attorney winning open-and-shut cases, or are they taking on difficult cases and winning? Testimonials can answer that question for you.
When Is It Time to Make a Decision?
By now, you have a short-list of potential DUI lawyers who can help you out of this tight spot. Are you ready to make a decision? Not yet.
Your next step is to take your top choices’ free consultations and meet with them. You should ask questions, listen for concrete answers, and take notes to compare later.
How do you know who is ready to help? An experienced DUI attorney committed to winning will give you straight, honest answers and prepare you for the most likely scenarios.
How Do You Deal with Legal Fees?
Everyone wonders what to do when you get a DUI, but more importantly, you wonder how to pay for it.
The best DUI attorney for you is always the one you can afford. It’s important to hire representation who won’t cost your family more than a conviction might, especially if the state has a weak case against you.
Cost is an essential factor, but it isn’t everything. You should compare the fees of each attorney you interview not only with other attorneys but weigh them against their competency.
Remember: everyone has a right to a lawyer in a criminal case. So if you genuinely can’t afford a lawyer, you might qualify for pro bono work or legal aid. You can get in touch with your local legal aid office to learn more.
Find the Right DUI Lawyer
Finding the right DUI lawyer can be the difference between the future you imagined for yourself and years of struggling to regain your life.
The good news is that you can find the right person to help if you follow the right strategy. Always ask for multiple opinions and quotes – and never decide to sign with a DUI attorney while sitting in their office.
Are you facing DUI charges? You can find more tips on our blog or by entering “DUI” in our search tool.
Everyone should all know that getting behind the wheel after too many drinks is dangerous.
But in 2018, 1,001,329 drivers chose to drive under the influence. That equals one out of every 227 licensed drivers in America.
What happens if you get in an accident while drunk? You will be arrested, pay hefty fines, and may even serve some time in jail.
Keep reading to learn more about what happens after a DUI accident.
What Happens If You Get in an Accident While Drunk?
Driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) means the driver’s ability to operate a vehicle was impaired at the time of the incident. Alcohol, recreational drugs, and prescription drugs are common causes of a DWI crash.
Operating a vehicle while intoxicated puts you, your passengers, and anyone else in the road in danger. Every day, almost 30 people in the US die from drunk-driving crashes.
That being said, DUI accidents have hefty legal and financial penalties. Let’s review what can legally happen if you get in an accident while drunk.
Most first-time DUIs are categorized as misdemeanors. If you receive a second DUI, it’s usually listed as a felony. These rules may vary based on the state and jurisdiction in which the crash occurred.
DUI charges lead to court hearings and fines. First-time DUI convictions range from $390 to $1,500. Multiple offenders receive penalty assessment fees that can increase the fine by three times. You can also expect your insurance premium to skyrocket after being convicted for a DUI.
Reckless driving is a criminal conviction in which the driver did not consider or care for the safety of the people and property around them.
Reckless driving charges are administered in a DUI case when something is damaged or someone is hurt from intoxicated driving.
Reckless driving includes a fine, which adds to your original DUI payment. Reckless driving may show up in a background check, so it can prevent jobs in the future. It also raises your insurance premiums, as providers view you as a liability on the road.
Driving to Endanger
Driving to endanger means you were purposely trying to jeopardize someone’s life. It is a criminal charge that is often given to people involved in DUI car accidents.
Driving to endanger charges stay on your record for years. It adds points to your license and often comes with a $500 fine or higher. Most states suspend licenses for a minimum of 30 days following a driving to endanger conviction.
Negligent homicide is categorized as the unintentional but careless killing of another individual.
Drivers involved in fatal DUI collisions will face negligent homicide charges, which is a Class A felony. The conviction is made if the driver was intoxicated and unfit to operate a vehicle at the time of the accident.
Negligent homicide means six months to ten years in jail.
What to Do If You Get Into an Accident While Drunk
First, cooperate with the authorities. Their priority will be to help those with injuries and call for further assistance. If you do not have serious injuries and can stand, walk away from the vehicle, and sit somewhere safe.
While intoxication may make it difficult, comply with police officer’s requests. Do not argue with the authorities.
If the officer suspects you are intoxicated, he or she will have you blow into a breathalyzer. If your BAC level is above the legal driving limit in your state, the officer will arrest you.
The DUI Arrest Process
Police will drive you to the nearest police station or jail. You will receive a mug shot and be fingerprinted.
During this time, an investigator will ask about the events leading up to the crash. They will inquire if you ingested drugs or alcohol. You will have the opportunity to contact an attorney if you feel you have been wrongly accused.
If someone comes to bail you out, you can leave jail immediately.
Some states, however, require a minimum jail time after a DUI. Some stations may also hold people longer based on past criminal convictions and the severity of your intoxication.
For repeat DUI offenders, expect at least 24 hours before bail is posted.
DUI Courts and Civil Lawsuits
At some point during your arrest, the police will give you a court summons. It will list the date and time of your DUI court appearance.
DUI sentences are settled in court. You have the right to hire your own DUI Car Accident Lawyer. If not, the court will appoint one to your case.
Keep in mind officers have dashboards and bodycams to record arrests. If you deny DUI charges or fight the case, these videos may be used to prove your intoxication.
During your court hearing, remain calm and respectful. Answer questions to the best of your ability and always tell the truth.
If the court deems you guilty, the judge will state your charges, fines, and punishment.
After Your DUI Charge
DUI charges result in a loss of driving privileges in every state. First-time offenders may have their license revoked for thirty days, while multiple DUI holders may permanently lose their driving privileges.
In the coming months following your DUI charge, you will be expected to pay all DUI-related fines. The penalties may include court fees and property costs for damages incurred during the accident.
Those with jail time will receive their sentence. First-time offenders may face 72 hours in prison, while repeat offenders may be locked away for months.
Many states incorporate community service into DUI punishments. Do your best to complete the programs as quickly as you can, which improves your standing with the court. Refusing to comply with judge-ordered service can result in jail time and extra fines.
Explore More Legal Topics
Now that you know what happens if you get in an accident while drunk, stay safe on the road. If you get into trouble, contact a local and reputable attorney to guide you through the process.
If you’re looking for more information on DWIs and other legal implications, browse our blog.
While it is not against the law to take your hands off the steering wheel, it’s certainly not a practice that should be recommended. To stay safe, you should keep both hands on the wheel at all times. If you use one hand to drive and the other to answer your phone, at best you are going to have less ability to control your car. At worst, you’ll cause a distracted driving accident.
Cell phone manipulation while driving continues to be a concern, with about 50% of drivers reporting in 2009 they texted while driving. State laws can add to the confusion. Numerous motorists assume driving hands-free should keep them out of any legal trouble. Although hands-free devices are safer, they may not always protect you in a court of law.
If you cause an accident and you were found to be using your phone, you may face:
- Jail time
- The loss of your license
- Increased car insurance rate premiums
- Being the defendant in a personal injury lawsuit
Keep reading to learn why hands-free is never the way to go
What Are Hands-Free Devices?
Hands-free devices allow drivers to utilize cell phones without making physical contact with the devices or, in some cases, by making minimal contact. An example of this is using the speakerphone feature on your cell phone.
In an effort to increase roadway safety, numerous states are turning to handheld devices and banning holding cells while driving. Studies show that bans may reduce overall phone use, but it is unclear if they reduce the total number of crashes.
Across the US, almost half of the states have bans that prohibit holding a cell while driving. Forty-eight prohibit texting, and the majority restrict cell phone use by drivers under the age of 18.
Many states have laws that prohibit certain types of use in certain situations (Virginia, for example, recently passed a law prohibiting holding a cell in a construction zone), and municipalities may also have their own regulations. Therefore, your age and location determine if you are legally obligated to avoid hands-free cell phone use.
Thirty-eight states and the District of Columbia restrict phone use among teenage drivers. In most states, this means a driver under 18 cannot legally use their phone at all—even with a hands-free device. In other states, there are no restrictions.
Currently, states without young driver cell bans include:
- New York
- South Carolina
If you’re a teenager and you feel like you’ve been waiting forever to get your license, using your cell phone while driving is a good way to get it taken away and have to wait even longer.
Adults can safely use hands-free devices as long as they follow their state and municipality rules. However, for your best shot at staying safe, it’s best to keep your eyes and your mind on the road without any distractions. Touching a cell to text, input coordinates, and complete other actions—even with hands-free technology—is still illegal in most states.
While safer, it is important to remember that even a conversation on a hands-free device can be distracting. As a result, drivers may be sued by other parties for intentional negligence.
When a driver causes an accident because of a distraction, he or she can be sued for any compensation for injuries or other damages the other party experienced. This situation applies to numerous instances, as the type of distractions is limitless. Some reasons you may be distracted while driving include:
- A conversation on a hands-free device
- Changing the radio
- Speaking to other passengers
In order for a plaintiff to successfully win a lawsuit, they must convince the courts that the accident was completely or partially due to the distraction. In doing so, the distracted driver is considered intentionally negligent—that is, they have failed to consider their obligation to drive safely.
Your state’s phone in the car law and your conduct will also determine if any further consequences will be pursued.
Distracted Driving Is Deadly
According to the Centers for Disease Control, each day in the United States, approximately 9 people are killed and more than 1,000 are injured in distracted driving accidents. Your life and the lives of others are too valuable to risk losing so you can check a text message.
Hands-free devices allow drivers to increase their awareness, but they don’t eliminate distractions entirely. Know your state laws, always be aware of your surroundings, and turn your cellphone off when you’re behind the wheel.
In 2016, 1 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol. This is according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In the same year, there were alcohol-related crashes, which resulted in 28% of fatalities. Driving under the influence is one of the reasons that lead to road accidents. If you’ve been involved in a DUI accident, you will have to reach out to a skilled DUI defense attorney in Nashville to defend you.
Check the 8 Benefits of Hiring an Experienced DUI Lawyer
The DUI Lawyer Will Help Get the License Returned
Several DUI felonies always end up with the driver having his license being revoked or suspended. With assistance from a DUI lawyer, you will have someone who will help lessen the charges and work hard to get your license back. A DUI lawyer can defend and support your case when it is in front of the state department of motor vehicles to get your license back.
A Trustworthy DUI Attorney Will Help Get You a Reduced Sentence
The penalties of a DUI case will vary depending on the situation. In most cases, if you’re a regular offender, the consequences will always change from time to time. If you’re a first-time offender, you will have a plea prepared by the prosecution team. But for similar cases, you will have to contact a reliable DUI attorney to defend you.
A well-known lawyer will be experienced and has a record of successful cases, others ending up in dismissals. Also, a lawyer will help get you a reduced sentence. DUI cases are complicated and severe. That’s why you need to work with a skilled attorney who knows what to do and understands the legal system.
A DUI Lawyer Will Save You Cash
Experience is essential. A DUI lawyer will always find a way to navigate the court systems in regards to this case. Also, he or she will quickly assess the evidence available to defend you.
The best attorneys will know what to do when presented with a DUI case and will analyze them to make sure the case ends in a dismissal. You will have saved time and money in a courtroom. That means a DUI attorney will help you because of the experience.
Your Case Could be Dismissed if You Work with a Skilled DUI Lawyer
An excellent DUI attorney is worth hiring, even if it means paying the price he or she is asking. If the case reaches trial, you will have to work with a lawyer who has a vast knowledge of DUI cases. The attorney will show his or her experience to defend you so that you can win your case. If you hire a lawyer, there is a possibility that the case will be dismissed.
Experienced DUI Attorneys Have a Relationship with the Prosecution
Most DUI attorneys have a close relationship with the prosecution team. The friendly relationship is essential if your case is to be dismissed. There are instances where the lawyers and prosecutors will work together to negotiate a favorable deal for both parties. It is fantastic news for you since you may have reduced charges or small consequences.
Spend Less Time in Court
You may find yourself spending less time in the courtroom if you work with an experienced DUI lawyer. DUI cases are complicated and stressful. So, you will have to hire an experienced lawyer who understands the situation so that you spend less time in a courtroom.
Experienced DUI Attorneys Understand the Legal System
DUI lawyers have the experience to navigate the legal system during a DUI case. After all, that’s what they need to do. The attorneys understand the rules, standards, DUI laws, and requirements required in a drunk driving trial. When it comes to negotiating reduced sentences, they know what to do.
Several DUI attorneys provide free one on one consultations, and since you don’t want to go to jail, you will have to work with an experienced lawyer to help you. DUI lawyers will handle similar cases to earn a living. Their knowledge is valuable.
A DUI Lawyer Can Help in Erasing the Record
Most, if not all, DUI cases are different and the results too. Some will make it to full trial; some have the first time offenders, and others end up with the offender’s license suspended or revoked. Depending on the case, a DUI lawyer will ease the penalties and, in some cases, get the DUI record removed.
DUI’s will always stick around and can tarnish someone’s reputation. That’s why you need the help of a DUI lawyer. He or she can change your life if you work with them on your DUI case.
Driving under the influence is a severe crime all over the world. In the USA, DUI charges are being handled in criminal court. And although you have the right to represent yourself, you should most definitely look at hiring a professional DUI attorney that can help you win your case, or at least have your punishment minimized.
Are you still not convinced about the benefits that hiring a special DUI attorney might have for your case?
Then keep on reading this article to find out more about the things that a DUI attorney can help you with
Given the criminal nature of a DUI accusation, the outcome of that trial can decide your whole future. You can’t risk losing your freedom by serving time in prison as well as having a possible permanent record and the probability of it affecting your career and work life. Even losing your driver’s license can cost you the freedom of mobility by depending on other people to drive for you or even worse, getting fired if the job revolves around driving.
Unless you are working in the legal field yourself, the chances are that you are not very familiar with all the rules and regulations of a certain state about DUI claims. This is especially true if this is your first time having to deal with a legal trial, especially when it involves a DUI accusation. So unless you do not want to get lost in the multitude of legal terms and their implications, you should consider hiring a special attorney who has enough knowledge in this field.
DUI attorneys often work with the local prosecutors to try to offer alternative solutions for serving jail time, such as plea bargains. A respectable attorney in the field with years of experience will be more likely to win you a good deal after the negotiation. This is almost impossible for those who chose to defend themselves as the prosecutors will refuse to even try to negotiate.
With DUI cases, you want to be as thorough as possible. This means that you do not want to forget about any deadlines, such as requesting the dashcam footage from the police in time. At the same time, there will be many motions that will need to be filled for your case. A lawyer is always prepared to submit them right on time.
Removing Your Accusation
Probably the most important thing that a professional DUI attorney can help you with is removing your accusation from your record. This procedure is very specific and is different from one state to another. Only the lawyers specialized in DUI cases will be able to potentially have your conviction deleted from your record so that your score and your future hiring prospects do not get affected by this.
Finally, a DUI conviction is a severe matter and requires the utmost importance and attention as it can help decide your future, and this is why having a professional DUI attorney is important.
Did you know you can be charged for violating laws you didn’t even know existed? In fact, odds are you break several laws a month unintentionally.
While some of these laws are hardly enforced (like stealing Wifi), Georgia drivers are pulled over every day for violating laws they didn’t know about.
Unfortunately, ignorance isn’t an acceptable defense plea in most courtrooms. While some law enforcement officers can be more than understanding, there’s no guarantee that they’ll let you off with a warning for violating Georgia driving laws, even if by mistake.
Georgia Driving Laws Every Resident Should Know
Most laws, like driving the speed limit and staying in your lane are obvious, but you may not be aware of some of Georgia’s other driving-related laws.
For example, if you’re riding a bicycle, did you know it’s considered a vehicle and you, therefore, are the driver. This means all of the laws that pertain to motor vehicles and their drivers also apply to bicyclists, within reason. Obviously, bicyclists are required to wear seatbelts.
Keep reading for more interesting (and important) Georgia state driving laws you may not know about.
1. Almost No Electronic Devices While Driving
Georgia’s driving laws are pretty clear about hands-free driving, but not without reason. In 2018, 400,000 people in the U.S. were injured as a result of distracted driving.
Georgia traffic laws make it illegal to be holding any electronic device while operating a motor vehicle. It’s even illegal to text someone (or do anything else with your phone) while stopped at a stoplight.
However, you can use hands-free devices such as Bluetooth earpieces. Although, this exception does not extend to headphones, which are also illegal to use while driving. You may also use your phone in emergency situations, such as reporting crimes, accidents, dangerous road conditions, etc.
2. Seat Belts Are Not Optional, but Shoes Are
We get it, sometimes you’re in a hurry or forget to wear your seatbelt. Sometimes a seatbelt is uncomfortable (like after getting sunburned). However, like most other states in the U.S., Georgia driving laws make wearing your seatbelt mandatory for operating a motor vehicle.
Getting pulled over and being sited for not wearing your seatbelt could result in a $15 fine. If you have a minor in the car not wearing a seatbelt, the fine is $25.
However, if you hate driving with shoes on, you have no need for concern. GA driving laws make it legal to drive without shoes.
3. You’re Required to Have Car Insurance, but Not Adequate Car Insurance
Driving laws in Georgia make car insurance mandatory for operating a motor vehicle. Ironically, however, the minimum insurance requirement isn’t always enough to cover the extent of damages resulting from severe car accidents.
By law, you are required to have a minimum coverage of $50,000 of bodily liability insurance per accident, $25,000 per person, and $25,000 for property damage. If the coverage is surpassed by the damages caused by a driver, the driver can be held personally and financially liable.
If you’ve caused an accident and are being held liable, learn more here about your options.
4. If It’s Raining, Turn on Your Headlights
Another Georgia traffic law you might not know about is that it’s illegal to drive with your headlights off when it’s raining. Common sense tells us that turning on our headlights helps improve our visibility and the visibility of our vehicle to other drivers. However, most people don’t think to turn on their lights during a downpour, especially during the day.
Failing to do so could result in getting pulled over. Headlight violations in Georgia result in a moderate fine and three driver penalty points. A total of 15 penalty points can result in a 24-month driving suspension.
5. Don’t Drive Too Slow
We can all recognize how frustrating it can be to have a slow-moving vehicle clogging up the left passing lane. Apparently, so do Georgia driving laws. In Georgie, it’s illegal to drive too slowly or linger in a passing lane.
Even if you’re driving the speed limit in the left passing lane, you’re required to move over for vehicles traveling faster than you. Also known as the “slow-poke law,” this law was created to prevent excess havoc on the road.
6. But Slow Down for ALL Emergency Vehicles
However, Georgia state driving laws do require you to slow down and move to the opposite side of the road (right or left) for any emergency vehicle pulled over on the shoulder or side of the road. You might be surprised to learn that these include any vehicles with flashing lights, be it orange, red, blue, etc. This includes construction vehicles, garbage trucks, road maintenance vehicles, police vehicles, and emergency medical response vehicles.
This law was established to help prevent the workers associated with these vehicles from being killed by motorists speeding by. As a general rule of thumb, it’s a good idea just to slow down anytime there’s a vehicle or personnel on the side of the road.
7. Intersections With Nonfunctioning Lights Become Four-Way Stops
Georgia driving laws demand that any interaction with downed or malfunctioning traffic lights be treated as four-way stops. This law reduces confusion and unnecessary accidents when drivers are confronted with non-working traffic lights.
However, this can be a little tricky at four-way intersections with multiple lanes of traffic on each side. We recommend approaching with caution and staying alert.
Typically, the first driver to come to a complete stop has the right-of-way. If multiple cars stop simultaneously, the vehicle to the left of the driver on the main road goes first. Then, drivers take turns, moving in a clockwise fashion.
Looking to Learn More About Legal Issues?
Are you interested in learning more about laws and legal issues? Are you looking for a lawyer to represent you?
If you’re facing legal issues regarding Georgia driving laws, drug laws, bankruptcy, personal injuries, or more, we can help.
Use our directory today to find the right lawyer for your case. We can help you get in touch with a professional to get you on the right path.
Those who would intensely look forward to having quick and proactive help from Dui Lawyers Miami to attain optimum level of legal support, should know that you are definitely looking at the most efficient line of legal services. In terms of professional efficacy, lawyers and legal professional services are indeed indispensable.
Let’s check out why it is so
Honesty is the most adorned trait of DUI lawyers
Honesty in business deals should be treated as a golden rule. At least, Dui Lawyers miami would like to look at it that way. As the astute professionals proceed with the case, they make a heart and soul effort to figure out any possible loophole that would prove to be a valued addition as well as an enigmatic bliss in your case. Once they have been abreast of any such thing then there is nothing that can possibly stop them from saving you. They work with utmost honesty and ensure that your grace as well as social status is absolutely glitch free. It is because of their honest approach at work as well as a highly feedback oriented procedure that their work gets so much of appreciation from almost every corner of the society. It is by dint of their honesty that you can get to envision a surprisingly high percentage of success in almost every case that they fight.
Transparency in performing their legal activities and duties
Transparency happens to be a core aspect of consideration for every worthy service provider. When it comes to the practice of law, it becomes even more essential as the fate of the client will entirely depend or rest on how the lawyer is working on the case. This is exactly why dui lawyers fort lauderdale choose to be extra careful in this respect. They do understand how crucial their job role is going to be in terms of ascertaining the future of their clients. Thus, they choose to be as transparent as they can be while discussing the pecuniary dealing or fees related aspects. They will be pretty immaculate and precise as they are going to unfurl their procedures. You can rest assured that there will not be any sort of hidden deal during the contract. Everything will be legitimate so that you can take the best advantage of what’s on offer.
Dedicated service providers and true connoisseurs of the art of brevity at the court
While battling your case in the court of law, these professionals are known for their dedicated approach at their work. They do have a distinctive fame in this regard. However, what appears to be a really striking feature related to the service which they cater is their command over the art of brevity. They don’t take too much of your time at court. It is not their practice to extend the time span and put any pressure on your wallet. On the contrary, they try to minimise the time span so that you can enjoy the taste of liberty as fast as possible. By implementing their art of brevity, they make an impeccable impact on the judge and that’s how they are successful in eliciting a completely favourable response for your case. The efficacy of the dui lawyers west palm beach is indeed praiseworthy as far as their dedicated approach is concerned.
Consulting professionals at your service
As you intend to add the services of dui lawyers west palm beach to your advantage, you will be assured of pristine consultation with an immediate effect. The service would be impeccable as well as useful. It will be catered on an urgent basis after the professionals choose to go deep into the exigency level of the scenario. The most exhilarating aspect of the Dedicated service is that you can attain the services anytime you want. Your time would be of most importance to the lawyers. So, your time will be their time. They are available for you round the clock.
Experience which you will find a bliss in your situation
Experience is something that always pays enriched dividends and that is why you can never ignore the perspicacity as well as importance of experience. That’s what is absolutely true with the consulting lawyers. It’s the experience of being the top notch lawyers which will eventually strengthen the position of yours in the case and you will fortunately embrace the opportunity to come close to the sweet taste of freedom for sure.
The lawyers do you a yeoman’s Job
The lawyers can be beneficial as well as the most instrumental forces as they step up and save your dwindling status from the possible ravages of a drunk driving case. Just imagine that you have been involved in a DUI offense while returning from an office party or a private party. The situation might get you trapped in legal turmoil. You might get handed over to the law enforcement officers. If it happens, it surely has the potential to hurl a highly damaging impact on your career. Thanks to the almighty that you can use the proficient help from the lawyer communities. If you are going to make a call, they would show up on the spot and take things ahead from there.
You can always have faith in their official as well as legal capabilities. They tend to deal with numerous cases of this sort and they are probably the best person to know what they are going to do in the effort of getting you discharged. Once they are in the case of yours, they are indispensable as they would hatch up a way out for you. You can bet on this.
Make sure that you would like to do your best by means of taking a quick note of the important facets we have just shared with you in this post. You can bet that you will be able to get guaranteed support from dedicated legal services in Miami as well as from the fraternity of dui lawyers west palm Beach provided you decide to take things in your stride with a pragmatic bent of mind.
Whatever the circumstances, you are entitled to have legal representation after an arrest for impaired driving or driving under the influence. In fact, hiring a DUI lawyer should be something that you do as quickly as possible. Once your legal counsel is involved, full cooperation on your part will equip the lawyer to develop a viable defense.
Here are four ways that you can support that effort
Cooperate With the Authorities Without Volunteering Too Much Information
While you do want to cooperate with the authorities, it’s best to keep your responses short and sweet. There’s no need to elaborate by adding details outside the scope of the questions. When and as possible, simple yes or no responses will do fine.
Keep in mind that you do have the right to have your legal counsel present during questioning. If the types of questions you’re being asked leave you feeling somewhat uncomfortable, that’s the time to invoke your right to only be questioned with your lawyer present.
But Do Tell Your Lawyer Everything
While you do want to avoid offering too much information to the authorities, the opposite is true when you meet in private with your legal counsel. At this juncture, feel free to share every detail that you can remember. Listen closely to any questions that the lawyer asked and answer them to the best of your ability.
Don’t assume some minor detail that comes to mind is not worth mentioning. You’re not in a position to decide what’s relevant and what’s of no value. Everything that you can remember should be conveyed to your legal counsel. Something as simple as remembering a random remark that was made during the arrest could change everything.
Refrain from Discussing the Pending Case With Others
Whether you have to remain in jail pending the court date or whether you’re released on bond, keep the details about the pending case to yourself. At no time should you discuss it with friends, relatives, coworkers, or anyone else. If you are in confinement, that includes not saying every much while making or receiving a phone call. It’s routine in many facilities for calls to be monitored. The only time you should discuss the case is when you and your lawyer are alone.
Follow the Lawyer’s Advice About Where to Be Seen and What to Do
Assuming you are free pending the court date, your lawyer is likely to have recommendations about how to conduct yourself in the interim. It may be best if you’re not seen at certain venues for a time. In some cases, it may be in your best interests to refrain from socializing with certain people until after the court date. The point of being mindful of where you go and who you’re seen with is to avoid any perceptions that could complicate your case. By choosing to follow that advice, you will make the process of mounting a defense a little easier.
During this time, your DUI lawyer will be one of your strongest allies. Draw on the experience and the knowledge that your legal counsel brings to the situation. Cooperate fully and listen closely to any advice. Doing so increases the odds of achieving the best possible outcome.
If you’ve been arrested for a DUI, you probably had to undergo some form of testing. This could’ve been done through a breathalyzer, a urine test, or a blood test. Blood testing is the most accurate method and is often the option of choice in many jurisdictions.
It is your responsibility to understand what can and can’t be done in this situation, and what the implications of a positive test are. You also have to know some of the myths about these tests, so you don’t end up making a mistake, and understand your rights.
Here are some of the most common myths about DUI blood testing
Police Lab Tests Results are the Only Valid Ones
That is not the case. When you are processed for DUI blood testing, you will be sent to a chosen medical lab where a technician will take a sample for testing. While the results will be used as evidence if the case goes to trial, know that you can request for an independent test in many jurisdictions.
In places like Georgia, for instance, you can ask the officers to take you to an independent testing facility. They are also obligated to let you search on the internet for a facility and take you to an ATM if you need money to pay. So, if you feel like they’re in the wrong, exercise your right. This could be used to debate in court and could have an influence on sentencing.
Over the Counter Breathalyzers are a Good Indicator of Blood Alcohol
While using breathalyzers tools available to the public can be one way to reduce drink driving, don’t expect these to be consistent with lab results. That’s because of the way they work. Breathalyzers don’t calculate the concentration of alcohol in the blood. Instead, they only calculate the concentration of alcohol compounds in the breath.
However, this doesn’t account for things such as sex, weight, or even things like red blood cell concentration. So, only use this as an estimate of what your real blood alcohol level is, and don’t drive if it’s too close to the limit for comfort.
You Can’t Refuse a Test
A lot of people are still under the impression that refusing a test will automatically make them guilty, but it’s more complex than that. In most states, officers will need to show probable cause before they can submit you to a test. But once probable cause is established, refusal will usually result in a guilty charge under implied consent.
Some of the things officers can use to establish probable cause include observations of erratic driving behavior, field sobriety tests, alcohol smells, and breathalyzer tests. If they establish after these that you may be impaired, refusing a test will get you in trouble. But if you feel like you were unjustly arrested, you are within your rights to refuse blood testing.
Getting arrested for a DUI is something no one should be taking lightly. If you are in this situation, make sure that you understand both your responsibilities and your rights, and protect them at all costs if you feel they’ve been violated.
Driving under the influence (DUI) laws are meant to prohibit motorists from driving when drunk. It is also essential to know that drunk driving is a DUI, a criminal offense that can lead charges of misdemeanor or felony. Subsequent penalties for A DUI offense may include fines, probation, or a jail term.
If you have ever been arrested for drunk driving, you would agree that getting a good DUI lawyer is of utmost importance to help you understand the facts of your case and to prepare your defense. However, before you settle on a lawyer, it is essential to interrogate them to help you know them better.
Some of the question you need to ask such a lawyer includes:
Do You have experience with DUI Cases?
This question might appear very basic, but this helps ensure that you’re hiring a lawyer who is knowledgeable about DUI cases. It will help to know whether a person is a veteran DUI lawyer or if that would be their first case. This is important because more experience the attorney has, the higher the chances are that you will succeed in your case. The golden rule is that 50% of all the caseload handled by your prospective lawyer should have been DUI-related. Additionally, inquire to know how many cases the attorney has successfully been able to bargain down to “wet reckless” dismissal. This will give you the confidence of succeeding in your case as well.
Do You Work Within My Locality?
Hiring a lawyer who works within your area is a must as they have a full understanding of the ins and outs of the relevant jurisdiction where your case will be conducted. Additionally, if the lawyer is from where you live, they tend to know a lot about the court staff and the prosecutors of your specific location. This will allow for a smooth and seamless experience since the attorney will most likely have an idea of how to navigate the court systems while negotiating your case.
What percentage of your clients opted for deferred prosecution?
In Washington, you have only one chance of getting “deferred prosecution” for your entire lifetime. This is why only people who are in dire need of treatment for serious substance abuse get this judgment. If the judge agrees for the deferred prosecution, you will be placed on a five-year probation period, from which you have to complete a mandatory two-year treatment period. If you succeed and comply with treatment, your case will be dismissed, and if not, you will be charged guilty of DUI.
Most attorneys will encourage the first DUI defendants to take this route, which on the flip side is an easier way for the attorney and a much tougher one for you as the defendant. For This reason, it is advisable to get more experienced attorneys who know that deferred prosecution should never be used on a defendant’s first DUI case.
How Much Is The Fee?
It is vital to know the legal fees that your lawyer will require for the entire case to determine whether the cost is within your budget. Ask your attorney whether the quoted legal fees include the payment at the department of licensing (DOL) as well as for the jury trial. The lawyer should also inform you accordingly before going to DUI trial of any other additional fees. Some of these additional costs will be highly dependent on whether you have had records of past driving offenses or when covering for breath test results. Such knowledge will help you to iron any financial implications that may come as a surprise in the course of your representation in court.
What is the alcohol evaluation in Washington DUI Law?
A lawyer who has been trained in blood alcohol concentration can be a valuable asset that can help you in winning your case. Such an attorney is likely to recommend you to a certified state agency that offers alcohol drug evaluation at reasonable costs. Additionally, your attorney will be able to walk you through the entire screening, ensuring that results have not been tampered with during the process. Some jurisdictions will also require you to undergo the Michigan Alcohol Screening Test (MAST), and the drug abuse screening test (DAST).
Under Washington state law, drink driving may lead to criminal charges, but more to these, you may also be subjected to administrative penalties by the Washington department of licensing. Nonetheless, you have a legal obligation for representation in court, and it is advisable that when looking for the right lawyer for your case, you ask the right questions.
Some of the questions you can ask the lawyer is to know if they have experience with DUI cases, understand if they work within your area, and also inquire to know the percentage of his client that has opted for deferred prosecution. Additionally, let them conclusively inform you of the legal fees, besides you can also ask about the procedure of alcohol evaluation in Washington DUI law.