Getting arrested for a DUI is scary. Even if you know your rights and can fight your case, you’re going to have to deal with the cops. Here are some common mistakes people make when getting arrested for a DUI.
The first thing that most people want to do after getting arrested is apologize and explain why they were drinking and/or driving in the first place. While it seems like a reasonable thing to do, admitting guilt is never a good idea.
No matter how much you apologize or try to explain your side of the story to the police, you will never change their mind about arresting you for DUI. If anything, your comments will probably be used against you in court and could result in you receiving harsher consequences than what you might have received if you had kept your mouth shut.
Not Requesting a Lawyer
If you’re arrested for a DUI, the police officer will typically ask you several questions, including whether or not you want to request an attorney. The law requires that police officers allow you to request an attorney before asking any additional questions.
If you do choose to speak with the police without a lawyer present, anything that you say can and will be used against you in court. Thus, it is recommended that if you are arrested on suspicion of DUI, you remain silent and request a lawyer as soon as possible.
Trying to Talk Your Way Out of the Arrest
When you’re being arrested, anything you say can be used against you later in court. This is even more true if you’re pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving and asked to take field sobriety tests or a breathalyzer test.
If an officer has reason to believe that you’ve been drinking and driving, they’re going to arrest you unless they have a really compelling reason not to (such as the presence of an emergency). The best thing you can do is cooperate with the police and avoid saying anything that might incriminate you. In most cases, the only thing that needs to come out of your mouth is, “I would like to speak with my attorney.”
Failing to Cooperate With the Police
It may seem like a good idea to refuse to answer questions or participate in police investigations. But if you’re pulled over on suspicion of DUI, the police officer has already decided that he or she will arrest you and file charges against you. The only thing left is to gather evidence that can be used against you in court.
When an officer asks you questions or asks you to submit to field sobriety tests or a breathalyzer test, it’s almost always best to comply — even if doing so seems like it will hurt your case. There are circumstances when refusing these requests could lead to additional charges or penalties, but your lawyer can help.
Agreeing to Field Sobriety Tests
The police officer may ask you to take a breathalyzer test or perform simple tasks, like touching your nose or walking a straight line, to see whether or not they can prove intoxication. If they arrest you, the results of these tests can be used as evidence against you in court. However, before that happens, the officer needs probable cause (legitimate suspicion) for making the arrest in the first place. Allowing yourself to be tested provides that probable cause, even if your performance is flawless.
Being arrested is a scary experience and makes you feel helpless and overwhelmed. Chances are you were never expecting to be arrested, much less for a DUI. But if you are ever arrested for a DUI, remember these five tips to make sure that your situation does not get worse.