Involving a Defense Attorney Immediately After a DUI Charge
If you’ve recently been arrested and charged with a DUI, you may be thinking that you can either handle it on your own or that there’s no point in fighting it. However, in almost every instance, you can benefit from working with a DUI attorney who will evaluate your circumstances and develop the best defense to try and reduce your penalties or in some cases, have your charges dismissed completely.
In 2021, there were 29,788 people arrested for driving while intoxicated, impaired, or under 21 with a BAC, and of these, 28,292 resulted in a conviction, according to the Michigan State Police. That’s nearly a 95% conviction rate. If you’re concerned about your DUI charges and would like to learn more about the benefits of working with an attorney, call us today to schedule a consultation. At Daniel J. Larin, P.C., we’re able to serve those in Birmingham and Bloomfield, Michigan, and the surrounding areas, including Rochester Hills and all of Oakland, Macomb, and Wayne counties.
What to Do When You’ve Been Pulled Over for a DUI
Before getting into the specifics of working with a DUI attorney on your defense, you should first know how best to handle the arrest itself.
No matter what happens when you’re pulled over on suspicion of a DUI, you should always remain calm and speak politely to the arresting officer. At the same time, you should also be aware of your rights and learn to assert them. For instance, all drivers implicitly agree to take a breath or blood test if the officer has a reasonable suspicion that they’re operating a vehicle while impaired by drugs or alcohol. You can refuse this test but know that there are consequences to this decision, which often include at least a one-year license suspension.
On the other hand, you are not required to perform any roadside sobriety tests such as the one-leg stand, horizontal gaze nystagmus test, or the walk-and-turn. Chemical and field sobriety tests are not one and the same. You can and should refuse the sobriety test since they are often unreliable and have the potential to be used against you in court.
In short, you should comply with an officer’s requests for your license and registration and a breath test, but you can politely refuse to answer any additional questions or perform a roadside sobriety test. Lastly, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible after your arrest for expert advice on your next steps.
Reasons You Should Immediately Hire an Attorney After a DUI
To Understand Your Rights and Options
As stated above, there are certain things you are and aren't legally required to do when pulled over by a police officer. It’s essential that you understand what these are so you don’t inadvertently waive your rights. For instance, you have the right to remain silent, but if you do choose to speak, whatever you say can be used against you in court. This happens all too often during a routine DUI stop when an officer asks the driver if they’ve been drinking. You do not have to answer this question, and it’s almost always in your best interest to politely refuse.
To Preserve Your Driving Privileges
If you refuse to take a breathalyzer or blood test, your license may be automatically suspended. However, there are other situations when your driving privileges may be at risk. In Michigan, you may only have 14 days from your arrest to preserve your driving privileges, which makes immediately contacting an attorney of the utmost importance. Although this won’t be the case for all people, you’ll still need to take proactive measures to ensure your rights and privileges are protected.
To Preserve Evidence
You are entitled to a copy of the police report from your arrest and access to any other photo or video evidence taken. In some cases, video evidence may be erased if you do not hire an attorney quickly.
To Prepare You for Court
With 25 years of legal experience, we’ve been involved in over 5,000 cases and know the ins and outs of a courtroom better than anyone. Most people simply aren’t prepared to represent themselves in court or know how to stay on top of the often complicated process, and only a seasoned attorney can properly prepare you for this.
To Know Your Defenses
The details of your case will inform your defense, but possible options could include questioning whether the officer truly had a reasonable suspicion or probable cause that you were driving under the influence, identifying areas where the officer didn’t follow the correct processes or used coercion to elicit responses, or questioning the validity of chemical tests which can be invalidated if they’re not administered correctly.
Personalized Care & Experienced Knowledge
If you’re in the Birmingham, Michigan, area and are questioning, “Should I contact an attorney after I get a DUI?” or “How can a DUI attorney help me?”, reach out to our team at Daniel J. Larin, P.C. today to learn about your options.lood