Know Your Rights When Arraigned On A DUI Charge
When you have been charged with driving under the influence, it's important to know your rights. While this may be your first offense, it's wise to invest in the help of a DUI attorney who can talk with you about the process. With DUI charges, subsequent offenses often lead to more harsh punishments. Depending on the state in which you live, you can face jail time, fine, or both for your first offense. If you believe that you were not driving intoxicated, it becomes even more important to find an attorney to represent your case. While you may want to simply plead guilty and take your consequences, this is usually not in your best interests.
If You Refused Field Sobriety Tests
Refusing field sobriety tests can result in an automatic consequence, such as a suspended license, and you'll have to work closely with your attorney to try and defend your actions. When you obtain a driver's license, this is considered a right, not a privilege. Part of the paperwork you sign as a licensed driver includes complying with field sobriety tests whenever you are asked to do so, and that you agree to consequences if you fail to do so. In general, this is a short-term loss of your license. Refusing to comply with sobriety testing rarely helps your overall case.
When There Are No Breathalyzer Results
If the officer that pulled you over didn't do a breathalyzer, instead relying on subjective sobriety tests like trying to walk a straight line, this can work in your favor. Talk with your attorney about the lack of testing done, and fight the charges if there is little evidence of you being intoxicated. DUI charges should be taken seriously. It is up to the prosecution to prove that you are guilty, and not up to you to prove your innocence. Without a breathalyzer, which directly measures your blood alcohol content, it is going to be the word of the officer against your word.
If you've been pulled over for driving under the influence, you need to try and remember the events leading up to you getting pulled over and what happened during the stop. When you aren't asked to get out of the car, if the officer simply states that they smell alcohol on your breath, this isn't enough proof. Your level of cooperation with the court can have a big impact on the severity of your punishment if you are found guilty.