to Avoid the 10 Biggest Mistakes Most People Make After Being Arrested for DUI
Here To Tell Me About Your DUI Case
1. Do not ignore your DUI case.
You not only risk loss of license and jail time, but you will also pay
higher insurance premiums, risk losing your job, jeopardize your
credit, and can even be refused a car rental.
2. Do not represent yourself
thinking "I really wasn't drunk and the truth will win out." The officer
is trained to testify to get a conviction. The prosecutor is probably
more educated than you and certainly more court-wise than you are.
Representing yourself virtually ensures a conviction.
3. Do not wait until the day
before you are scheduled for court to contact a DUI specialist.
He might be in court and unable to discuss your case with you. Moreover,
the attorney will want to be paid before making an entry of appearance
in your case (an entry of appearance binds him to make court appearances
on your behalf). If you talk to an attorney right after you were
arrested, you will at least have some time to come up with his fee. Keep
in mind that hiring a DUI defense
specialist will not guarantee a win, but will substantially increase your
probability for an acquittal.
4. Make sure you request a hearing from the Georgia Department of Public
Safety within 10 business days after your arrest if you either
refused to take an alcohol test, or took the test and had an unlawful
blood alcohol level (.08 or higher if age 21 or older, .04 if operating
a commercial vehicle, or .02 of under age 21). If you do not request a
hearing, you will have an administrative drivers license suspension for
one to five years before you even go to court on your DUI. If you
do request the hearing, you at least have a fighting chance to keep
driving until your DUI case comes to court.
5. Not hiring a lawyer who specializes in DUI cases. DUI law is the most
complicated area of criminal law and you must hire an attorney who knows
all the ins and outs of DUI practice.
6. Never take legal advice from
a friend or acquaintance who has had three prior DUI cases. 'Nuff said.
7. Do not miss a court
appearance unless your lawyer tells you that you are excused. Not only
will the judge issue a warrant for your arrest, but the bond you posted
will be forfeited and you will most likely sit in jail until your case
is called. Furthermore, your license will be suspended for your failure to
appear in court.
8. It's highly unlikely that
"your mother's friend who knows a judge who can get your case dismissed"
routine will work - believe me.
9. Never try to save money by negotiating your own plea. Although this
sometimes works, other times what seems like a good deal is a
prescription for disaster. For example, if you get tickets in addition
to your DUI ticket, one or more of the other charges could also be a
license suspension violation on top of your DUI. Even worse, depending
upon your record, one or more of the other charges could make you an
Habitual Violator. Saving all that money could result in the loss of
your drivers license for five years.
10. Were you in an accident?
Your insurance policy requires that you inform the company immediately.
However, any conversation you have with a company agent IS NOT a
privileged communication. In other words, it could be used against you
in court. What should you do? Contact the company immediately as you a
supposed to do, but do not give a statement until you have consulted
with an attorney first.
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