Picture this scenario: You are heading home after enjoying one too many drinks at a party. Suddenly, you see flashing red and blue lights in your rearview mirror. Your heart begins to pound as you ask yourself, “Am I about to be arrested for a DUI?”
If this happens to you, you might think you stand no chance of avoiding DUI penalties. While the odds certainly are stacked against you, your case could have a better outcome with the help of a DUI attorney.
Below, learn about mistakes to avoid during and after a DUI arrest.
Running From the Police
If you think you are about to be arrested, your first instinct might be to flee. This is one of the worst mistakes you could make. Should you run, the court can slap you with additional charges, fines, and jail time.
Provoking Law Enforcement
Intoxicated people often become belligerent with officers who have pulled them over, but this is a terrible idea. The smartest thing you can do is to remain calm, composed, and polite.
That does not mean you must answer every question the officer might have. You may I give basic information, like your name and address. But if the officer asks whether you have been drinking, you may simply say that you refuse to answer without a DUI attorney present. The officer might not like it, but this is your right under the law.
Agreeing to Take a Field Sobriety Test
It may surprise you to know that if the police ask you to take a field sobriety test, such as walking in a straight line or standing on one leg, you do not have to comply. Field sobriety tests are not legally required, and taking one could give the police more evidence to use against you.
Do Not Refuse the Breathalyzer Test
One test you should always consider taking is the breathalyzer test.
Should you refuse this test, your license could be suspended for up to a year. Plus, you will become ineligible for the DUI Deferral Program.
It is wise never to plead guilty without counsel’s advice even if the cops have evidence against you..
Do not admit guilt before a DUI attorney has had a chance to review your case. They may be able to uncover factors, such as mistakes made by police during your arrest, that could lead to a better resolution.
Not Hiring a DUI Attorney
DUI penalties can be harsh, even if you’re a first-time offender. For your first offense, penalties could include:
- Driver’s license suspension
- A fine of up to $1,000
- Up to six months in jail
- Ignition interlock installation
Sentences increase for an aggravated DUI (BAC of 0.15% or greater). Penalties are also more severe if you are under 21 or caused an accident that hurt or killed someone.
Without a DUI attorney, a judge may hit you with the harshest punishment possible under the law. Your attorney will fight to win a more favorable sentence for you.
Reach Out to Arnold & Bailey If You’ve Been Arrested for a DUI
After a DUI arrest, the first thing you should do is pick up the phone and call us at Arnold & Bailey. Our DUI defense team has years of experience representing clients in West Virginia.