Have you or someone you know been arrested for a DUI? If you have, your first reaction might be trying to figure out how this happened?
Most people know that driving under the influence (DUI) is illegal. And it’s expected that if a police officer pulls you over, they’ll ask you some questions and perform a field sobriety test. But most people don’t realize that throughout the DUI process, there are opportunities to defend yourself and dispute the charges against you.
To help you and give an overview of how you can defend yourself against a DUI charge, this article will answer the question “How can I defend myself against a DUI?”
What should you do after a DUI arrest?
The possibility of being convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) is a very scary thought. But challenges do not mean that you should simply give up without trying. There are several important considerations with a DUI defence. The most important thing to do after a DUI arrest is to hire a skilled DUI attorney.
Here are some crucial DOs and DONTs after a DUI arrest:
|● Get home safely;|
● Contact a specialized DUI attorney;
● Memorize the date of court appearance;
● Stay off social media after arrest;
● Prepare the case with your attorney.
|● Don’t resist arrest;|
● Don’t drive under suspended driving license;
● Don’t try to defend yourself. Stay silent in front of the officers. Let your attorney do the talk.
How much does a DUI cost?
DUI is a serious offence and it will cost you a lot. The cost of a DUI can vary depending on the circumstances and the state where you were arrested. As an example, I took the state of Colorado, where an average DUI conviction costs around $14,000. In Colorado, you can expect the following DUI costs:
- Cost of car insurance increases for 3 years after conviction, for at least $3,600 annually;
- Ignition interlock device, up to $2,100;
- Lawyer expenses may vary greatly, so I won’t come up with a number;
- Fines for conviction, up to $1,000, if you’re a first-timer;
- Alcohol and drug abuse treatment program, around $1,000.
There are, also, many additional expenses, such as vehicle towing, court fees, fees for restricted driving license, fees for license reinstatement; detox in jail fees, and many more.
How to defend yourself against a DUI charge?
To defend yourself against a DUI charge, you need an attorney that specializes in these types of cases. A skilled criminal defence attorney will have experience dealing with the local prosecutors, judges, and court personnel.
The best way to minimize your exposure is to hire an experienced attorney who knows the ins and outs of the system so you can focus on your freedom. An experienced lawyer also knows how to negotiate a plea deal or trial strategy that will benefit you in terms of outcome and/or sentencing.
Here are 4 peculiar ways how a DUI attorney can defend you against a DUI charge:
Challenging chemical test results
A person cannot rely on the results of a single test to prove intoxication. If you have been charged with driving under the influence, knowing that there is more than one type of chemical test can help you understand what will happen if you are stopped by police and subjected to tests of your breath or blood.
If your lawyer can challenge the results and establish that the officer did not properly administer the test or that it was taken incorrectly, you may have a strong case for having your charges dropped.
Challenging the officer’s testimony
The second step is to challenge the officer’s testimony. Was he or she paying attention when you were pulled over? How long did he or she spend with you during questioning? All of these points could help paint a better picture of what actually happened.
Your attorney can perform this by taking an aggressive approach and interrogating the officer, who will likely be nervous about his or her performance as a witness against you. A specific example would include questioning whether or not your behavior was actually erratic enough to justify pulling you over.
Finding witnesses who can vouch for your character and reputation is one way to defend yourself against a DUI charge. Witnesses can present contrary evidence to contradict the officer’s conclusions, statements, or observations.
Testimony from witnesses also can mitigate the prosecution’s evidence, strengthen your defence or prove that you were not intoxicated at the time of driving.
Defence-related to arrest procedures
The arrest procedure is designed to ensure that suspects are treated fairly and given their constitutional rights. If you’re arrested for a DUI, be sure that the police follow the proper procedure at all times.
As part of their efforts to preserve evidence, the police may process your vehicle while you’re in custody. The results of this processing may be used against you at trial. It is therefore important to contact an attorney immediately after your arrest. If a search warrant was obtained for your home or car, there may also be violations during the search that could support suppression issues.
An experienced criminal defence attorney can help you maximize opportunities for suppressing evidence related to your case.
So, the best way to keep yourself out of trouble is to avoid intoxication. Things can get out of hand pretty quickly, especially when you’re out with a large group of friends and everyone’s drinking. It’s really just not worth it; you risk hurting yourself, your passengers, and others on the road if you should happen to become involved in an accident.
But if it happens, I strongly advise you to hire an experienced attorney. At the end of the day, no matter how strictly law enforcement and prosecutors are enforcing these laws, an experienced DUI defence attorney will know how to get you convicted of lesser charges.