Should a police officer have reason to believe that you’re driving under the influence of alcohol, they have the legal right to pull you over. While you do your best to avoid an arrest, the officer will do their part in determining if you’re under the influence.
If the officer tells you that you’re under arrest, remain silent and comply with their request to take you into custody. The last thing you want to do is resist arrest, as this improves the likelihood of additional criminal charges, which will complicate your case.
After you’re taken to a local police station, processed and released, you can then take steps to better understand your criminal charges, legal rights and how to best defend yourself.
Although your life has been turned upside down with the arrest, there’s no guarantee that your criminal charges will turn into a conviction. There are many defense strategies you can use to protect your legal rights with hope of walking out of court without any consequences.
For example, you can argue that the officer did not have probable cause to stop your vehicle. You could also take a stance against the accuracy of the field sobriety and/or Breathalyzer test results.
The minimum penalties are serious
When charged with DUI, consider the potential impact on two fronts:
- The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV): The DMV has the legal right to administratively suspend your driver’s license if your Breathalyzer results were .08 or above or if you refused to take a test. This will result in an automatic license suspension.
- Criminal charges: You now have an active case in the legal system, with potential penalties including a fine, probation, community service, mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device and jail time.
Even if you’re fully aware of the risks associated with drinking and driving, it’s easy to make this mistake. For example, you may assume you didn’t have much to drink, just to find that you’re legally intoxicated.
If you’re arrested for DUI, don’t lie down and wait for your punishment. Use the best defense strategy for your case, all with the idea of minimizing penalties or avoiding a conviction altogether.