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Tips For Dealing With A DUI Or OWI Charge

When you’re being charged with a DUI, there are probably a lot of different questions going through your head. What is going to happen to me? Will I have to go to jail? What is going to happen my license? All of these questions, as well as many others, are the kinds of things that we usually hear when people come to us for legal counsel after they’ve been charged with a DUI. It can be a natural instinct to panic a little bit when you’re faced with this type of situation. Your friends are likely sharing second-hand horror stories about people, who know people, who went through a life-changing DUI charge. Stories like these should be taken with a grain of salt since details of the case can often become skewed through hearsay and conjecture. The fact is, a DUI doesn’t have to ruin your life. If you take the right steps and seek reliable legal counsel, you can get through a DUI charge and get back to living your life. We’ve examined the topic of drunk driving charges before, but with the holidays approaching, we felt it might be a good idea to go into further detail. Here are some legal tips for dealing with a drunk driving charge.

Don’t Drive Drunk

We would be remiss if we didn’t start this list with the most pertinent piece of advice concerning DUI charges: avoid the issue by not driving drunk. Whenever you plan on drinking, have a designated driver with you or take an alternate form of transportation such as Uber or Metro Car. If you’re at a private residence and can’t get a sober driver to take you home, see if you can stay there overnight or at least for a few hours until you sober up. Drunk driving convictions usually involve numerous counseling and/or alcohol abuse courses, hefty fines and possibly jail time. The possible consequences outweigh any perceived benefits of driving under the influence. Whenever you can, plan ahead and be safe.

Know What to Do When Being Pulled Over

Unlike most criminal charges, DUIs are usually unintentional and can happen to people from all walks of life. It’s important to know what to do when you get pulled over on a night that you may have had a drink. Knowing your rights is vital to any interaction with law enforcement or the justice system and this case is no different. Understand that when cops pull you over during the late night or early hours of the morning, they are likely looking to see if you are impaired, especially if it’s a weekend. You are required by law to give the officer your license, registration, and proof of insurance upon request; you are not required to take a breathalyzer test or field sobriety test. These tests do not exist to serve your best interest but rather to provide evidence against you during court proceedings later. You may be arrested, but chances are if you’re pulled over on suspicion of impairment, you’ll be arrested anyway. At least, if you don’t take the tests, there will be a lack of evidence to support the DUI charge.

Get Legal Counsel

When facing any criminal charge, you have a right to legal representation, use it every time. Some people believe they have been through the system enough times or have gotten good enough legal advice to represent themselves, and these are the people who usually end up doing time in jail. Any perceived monetary benefit from not hiring a good lawyer is trumped by the loss of time and income that comes from being in jail, even for a short period. For example you’ve got a rock-solid argument for acquittal since officers didn’t read you your Miranda Rights upon arrest, right? Wrong. This isn’t “Law and Order”; an officer doesn’t necessarily have to read your rights to make a valid arrest. Avoid common pitfalls like this by hiring an attorney when facing a DUI charge or any other serious criminal charge.

These tips are the first step to getting through this difficult period in your life. A DUI charge doesn’t have to mean the end of the world, getting good legal representation and seek good counsel are the keys to retaining your freedom and peace of mind. If you need legal counsel, feel free to contact us through our online contact form or by calling (248) 522-9545.