DUI arrest, many individuals assume that only the actual events of the criminal
charge will have an impact on their case. However, that is not true. A
defendant needs to consider their actions following an arrest because
they typically affect the final ruling. With severe penalties for DUI
convictions in California, those facing drunk driving charges need to
be extremely careful to avoid making mistakes that could jeopardize their
The following are several common mistakes after a DUI arrest:
Ignore the DUI charge. One of the biggest mistakes you can make after a drunk driving arrest
is to ignore your DUI charge. Doing nothing will not cause your charge
to disappear. Additionally, failing to appear in court results in additional
charges and a warrant issued for your arrest.
Not realize the true consequences of a DUI. A DUI conviction can result in jail time, fines, license suspension,
probation, and other serious penalties. Additionally, have a DUI conviction
on your permanent criminal record can damage your personal and professional
reputation. Failing to understand the consequences of a DUI can have a
significant, negative impact on your life.
Assume you are guilty. Many people incorrectly believe that “because I blew over the limit
(or my blood test was over the limit), I might as well plead guilty and
serve my punishment.” Oftentimes, individuals charged with drunk
driving offenses will have many defenses available to them—even
if they were above the legal limit. Furthermore, police misconduct and
other mistakes could still provide defenses that allow you to avoid conviction.
Refuse to take a chemical test. According to California’s implied consent law, if you refuse to
submit to a breath test after a DUI arrest, you will face automatic suspension
of your driver’s license. Not having the ability to drive can make
it difficult to commute to work, attend classes, make important appointments,
and conduct day-to-day activities.
Talk your way out of it. Many people think it is a good idea to tell the police or the prosecutor
their side of the story, believing that everything will be cleared up.
Unfortunately, speaking with police or prosecutor, especially without
an attorney present, can harm your case. Remember, whatever you tell them
can and will be used against you in the court of law.
Not hire legal representation. When you are facing serious penalties, you cannot afford to try your
case on your own. While you may know someone who thinks they know the
law and is ready to offer some free advice, it is not wise to listen.
Only a seasoned lawyer understands the complexities of the law in order
to guide you through the process.
Assume all DUI lawyers are all the same. On the contrary, lawyers are not all the same. If you need brain surgery,
you wouldn’t hire a heart surgeon to perform the task, right? You
want an attorney who has the extensive knowledge of DUI law to help you
obtain the most favorable outcome possible.
For more information,
contact our Santa Barbara criminal defense lawyers at
Appel & Morse today.