A DUI arrest is almost never expected, which is why it is normal to be baffled and anxious. An arrest for any sort of crime can be increasingly overwhelming if you had managed to keep your criminal record clean up to that point. Remember to stay calm and cooperate with the police under all circumstances. Retaliating and resisting is likely to make matters worse for you. The best strategy is to remain silent because anything you say could be used against you. Do not plead guilty or take responsibility for anything, but demand a lawyer if anyone attempts cross-questioning.
The laws for DUI offenses vary from state to state, but first time offenders are usually granted some leniency. Typically, standard DUI charges lead to confiscation of a person’s driver’s license, some jail time, and a small fine. You may have several questions in your mind following an arrest, so here’s a couple of things you should do to deal with the situation:
Demand a Chemical Test
A DUI arrest happens after an officer stops you by the roadside for acting suspicious or disrespecting traffic laws. Their investigation begins by observing physical symptoms, which might suggest that you are intoxicated. If you insist that you are sober, they shall ask you to perform a series of field sobriety tests. However, the results of sobriety tests are not always accurate, so you must demand a chemical test if an arrest is issued. Chemical tests involve taking a sample of your blood to determine the BAC (blood alcohol concentration) level in your body. Some cops use a Breathalyzer, which is also not quite reliable for determining percentage of alcohol in the bloodstream.
Get your Story straight
Memorize or record all the details of the DUI arrest, starting from the time you were pulled over up to after you reached the police station. Your answers should be consistent every time someone asks you why you were stopped, what the officer asked, how you responded to the questions, detail of performed DUI testing, and who else witnessed the protocol. Recall if the police notified you of your Miranda rights or tried to force you into providing a confession. All these particulars will be extremely useful to your case during arraignment and court trial.
Hire an Attorney
DUI cases can be complicated and tricky, so do not think about representing yourself before a judge or arraignment officer. Choose an attorney who has considerable experience with handling DUI/DWI cases, so that a favorable outcome is guaranteed. A Criminal Defense Attorney can help with getting the charges dismissed or reduced to a lesser offense.
Arrange for Bail
Posting bail is usually a mandatory requirement to stay out of jail prior to conviction. You may require the help of a bail bondsman if you cannot arrange for the lump sum amount. The bondsman will pay for your bail and charge a fee for their services. By posting bail, the bondsman is acting as your guarantor; he/she is then obligated to make sure that you appear at all court hearings.
Bring up Witnesses
Call upon friends, family, or third party witnesses who can testify in your favor during trial. Anyone who can vouch for your sound character or affirm that you were not drunk at the time of the accident will be beneficial to your case.
Request a DMV hearing
Following your arrest, you have about ten days to apply for a DMV hearing. The DMV hearing decides whether or not you will sustain your driving privileges after the arrest. Failure to officially request a DMV hearing within the specified time period can automatically revoke your driver’s license.