What to Expect After You’re Arrested for DUI
Driving while under the influence is illegal across the country, although approximately only 3,200 arrests are made. If you are one of those who are arrested for DUI, here’s what you can expect once you’re released from jail.
Getting arrested for DUI is a scary experience that many people have faced, and often the mix of fear and intoxication can make it difficult to think clearly about what to do.
When it comes to a drunk driving charge, the first stage to the traffic stop where the officer pulls you over and deems that you are intoxicated. This moves on to the roadside sobriety stage that determines if you are indeed above the legal limit of intoxication.
However, even if it turns out that you were too drunk to be driving, your defense could have started before that was even determined.
Here’s what to expect after you get arrested for a DUI.
Pull Over to a Safe Location and Be Polite to the Officer
At the moment, it can be difficult to stay composed, but it is in your best interest to remain calm. When you’re being pulled over, come to a complete stop in a safe place, and make sure to be polite to the officer.
Invoke your Fifth Amendment Rights
You do not have to answer any questions on whether or not you have been drinking. If the officer asks, just firmly, but calmly, say, I plead the Fifth, and will not answer further questions without legal counsel.”
If he or she asks again, repeat yourself. You may also do this if the officer asks any other potentially incriminating questions. Do not be intimidated into not using your constitutional rights.
Remember You Can Deny a Preliminary Alcohol Screening
It is important to remember that, unless the officer has arrested you, you are allowed to refuse a Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS).
While some states give less room for refusal, in the state of California it is completely within your rights to decline to take a PAS. In California, the officer must remind you of the fact that you can refuse, and it’s beneficial to make use of that privilege.
When you are charged with a DUI, the first thing you attorney will do is provide you with a consultation on your situation. The potential punishments for a DUI range considerably from one case to the next.
Some factors that will influence the potential punishment include the severity of the DUI, whether there was significant damage or personal injuries involved, and whether or not you have a past record of similar crimes.
The attorney will explain what the legal process will be, what your potential punishment is, and how you should best proceed to minimize your potential punishment.
Can you bail yourself out of jail? The vast majority of DUI cases are settled outside of the courtroom. Because of this, having an attorney that is experienced with DUI cases and has connections in the local area is very important.
The attorney will work with the prosecutors and other parties involved to negotiate the best settlement possible for you. In many situations, this results in punishments that are far less than the maximum allowable by law.
Taking Field Sobriety Tests
A field sobriety test measures a person ‘s ability to drive safely. The best way around this is to not drive drunk, but if you ever must go to a party and get pulled over for suspicion of DUI afterward, here are some tips to pass a field sobriety test.
- Monitor your blood alcohol level (BAC).
You may feel sober, but you can still be above the legal limit, which .08 in all states.
lt takes three to five drinks before you pass the limit, but it varies by weight. For example, a 120-pound person only needs two drinks to reach .08.
- Don’t give the police a reason to pull you over.
Try the lights and blinkers before you drive, and ensure your mirror is at the right angle, so you won’t fiddle with it in the can Also, keep your tags updated and the tag stays visible.
Turn off the cell phone for a bit and keep the music low or off. The less distractions you have, the better you will drive and not speed, swerve or miss red lights.
- It is important to relax if you get pulled over, or you can make things worse. Stay in your vehicle until instructed otherwise, no matter how many drink you had.
- Know what to expect during the test. In most cases, the officer asks you to recite something, do a one leg stand, or touch fingers to the nose.
- Don’t take your shoes off, because shoes keep the feet steadier. When the officer asks you to balance on one leg, raise it six inches to stay balanced. Also when they ask you to recite, pay attention to the instructions.
They may ask you to count backward from a certain number or ask you to start saying the months not beginning with January.
Never try to trick the test, because many officers are aware of the tricks passed around. You can still be arrested for DUI, even if you pass the test. Contact us for legal advice.
When Arrested for DUI….
Seeking legal counsel is important. You can’t be expected to represent yourself, and succeed in minimizing any potential penalties from the DUI. This is why you need a good attorney.
Arrested for DUI is a serious crime that can come with punishments that include loss of driving privileges, financial penalties, and even jail time.
If you are charged with a DUI, hiring an attorney to represent you would be a great option. A DUI attorney can provide you with a range of services to ensure your rights are properly represented and that your punishment is minimized.