People often fail to understand just what a profound impact a DUI can have. In addition to mandatory jail time and fines, a DUI can affect:
- Auto insurance
- Future employment opportunities
- College enrollment
- A driver’s license
In a competitive job market, employers look for ways to narrow the field of candidates by conducting background checks. Employers are far more likely to reject a candidate with a DUI on that basis alone. The effect that a DUI conviction can have on your financial future far outweighs the cost of hiring a DUI lawyer.
If I am stopped for DUI suspicion, what should I do?
Respect the police officers. Be courteous and compliant.
- Know that almost everything is being captured on audio and video.
- Provide your driver’s license & proof of insurance. If you have an injury, back problems, arthritis, poor eyesight, a workers comp claim, or other impairment tell the officer immediately. It is also important to tell the officer if you are on any type of prescription medications.
- If you have any doubt about whether a drink or two has placed you near the legal limit tell the officer you wish to contact your lawyer immediately, and do not answer any further questions. You have the right to remain silent!
The tests given by an officer who suspects a driver to be under the influence are subjective at best. They are designed to challenge even those who are strictly sober, and athletic in the best of conditions. Most are administered under challenging conditions including; foul or Inclement weather, dangerous or uneven surfaces, no clearly marked straight lines, near passing or moving traffic, low or poor lighting, loose gravel, broken glass or other refuse, etc. A motorist can do 8 things right & 2 things wrong and fail the test. It is an unfair, arbitrary, unilateral “one size fits all” test, often administered in a way to ensure you are at a disadvantage. You are not required to take this test in hazardous conditions.
For DUI cases, there is a 6-year look back. If you were arrested on suspicion of DUI 6 years ago and were arrested in connection with the same charge today, today’s DUI would be considered your 2nd offense.
Should I refuse the Breathalyzer or Field Sobriety test?
If you refuse to take a Breathalyzer test (blow), submit blood for analysis or take the field sobriety test, the court is permitted to add up to 10 days to your jail sentence. However, you have the right not to self-incriminate. Given the severity and long-lasting consequences that affect your driving privileges, your employment, and insurance rates, it can be a minor inconvenience.
Should I plead “Guilty” or “No Contest”?
It doesn’t matter if this is your first offense or if you have been convicted of an OVI or DUI previously. If you walk into court and plead “guilty” or “no contest” to your charges, you will immediately:
- Face all punishment including loss of license & driving privileges and serve 3 days in Jail/MaryHaven
- Pay all fines & court costs (over $1,000 for first time offenders, higher for repeat offenses)
- Have a permanent (not expungeable) record which could affect your present or future employment
- Experience a substantial increase in your insurance rates (often they will triple)
Attempting to fight DUI charges on your own or pleading no contest will cost you far more in the long run.
- What is the value of preserving your driving privileges and getting your car back (if it has been immobilized)
- What is the value of protecting yourself from a permanent criminal record which could prevent you from obtaining an important job or opportunity in the future?
This is not my first DUI charge, what are the consequences?
DUI convictions mandate minimum jail time; first offense (3 days), second offense (10 days) and third offense (30 days).
As your DUI lawyer, I will take forceful action to make the charges reduced or dismissed.
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