Dealing with a DUI: 10 Things You Need to Know
If you’ve been arrested for a DUI, chances are you’ll have to appear before a judge for your arraignment. The arraignment is where you enter your plea (guilty or not guilty), and you’re formally charged with the crime.
What you need to know is: You don’t have to plea guilty or not without a plea bargain. With proper representation, you can get your charges drastically reduced. There are 10 things that you should know about a DUI:
1. There are many different plea bargains.
a. It’s all about negotiation, something Troy Giatras has a lot of expertise with. Here are three ways plea bargains are commonly shaped: (1) pleading guilty to a less-serious offense than you are charged with, (2) dismissal of one charge against you, in exchange for a guilty plea to another, or (3) agreeing to a sentence that will not involve a high fine or license suspension.
2. You can make a plea bargain at any time.
a. Plea bargains can be made at any time, and sometimes are part of your pretrial.
3. Don’t assume you’re guilty
a. You may be sited with a DUI if your blood alcohol level is .08 percent or higher. However, a blood alcohol content of over .08 percent doesn’t automatically result in conviction. There are a lot of defenses for a DUI – faulty equipment, time the blood alcohol content level was obtained, and a few others
4. You can contact the DMV and request an administrative hearing.
a. When you are caught driving drunk, there is a court case and a DMV case. You can request a hearing with the DMV Administrative board, and keep your license while you wait for a hearing date.
5. You can have a “restricted” license.
a. The biggest fear when faced with a DUI is the suspension of your driver’s license. The good news is that an experienced attorney can make a case for you to continue to drive while your case is under review.
6. When Plea Bargaining You need to compromise.
a. Plea bargains are great for reducing charges, but you have to keep in mind that you’re compromising with the prosecutor. You may have multiple charges against you, so offer to plead guilty to one if the others are dropped. If you have a Criminal Defense Attorney, let them do the talking.
7. Never Discuss your DUI.
a. Talking about your DUI can be seen as an admission of guilt, depending on what you say. Plus, discussing it at work is not good for your career. You should only talk about your DUI and court hearings with your attorney.
8. Write down every detail about your arrest.
a. This is a good strategy when you’re trying to combat the prosecution, who will focus on how you were driving, how you looked and acted, and if you failed the sobriety test you were given. Having a record of everything that happened will only help you.
9. You are innocent until proven guilty.
a. Do not believe for one second that you are guilty. The burden of proof is on the prosecution, and its your lawyers responsibility to cast doubt on that proof. If you have an experienced lawyer, they may show that you are completely innocent!
10. Don’t drink and drive.
a. If you have a DUI, and it’s your first offense – things won’t be so bad. If you’ve already had a DUI, then you shouldn’t have to be told twice. Yes, a great defense attorney can reduce your charges and sometimes get charges dropped completely, but it’s still dangerous to drink and drive. Think about the other people trying to get where they’re going, and call a friend.