It happens all the time-;a person goes to a party, has a couple of drinks, and leaves, thinking everything is OK. On the way home, they’re pulled over for a minor infraction, and the officer suspects the driver is intoxicated. When a driver fails a field sobriety test, they are arrested and charged with DUI. If you are charged with driving under the influence, your first step should be to call a DUI Lawyer Charleston, and your second step should be to learn more about the legal process.
After being arrested for drunk driving, one of your first moves should be to learn about the charges you are facing. These charges are quite common, but still serious. Most states consider DUI to be a misdemeanor, but there are felony DUI circumstances. If your incident results in death or injury, or you have multiple DUI convictions, your charges are more serious. Penalties vary, ranging from license loss, fines and community service to jail sentences.
How to Handle an Arrest
If you are arrested for DUI, you have certain original rights. The most important right is the right to remain silent. Even if you believe the charges aren’t legitimate, it’s in your best interest to stay quiet. The less you talk, the lower the chance that you’ll incriminate yourself. You also have the right to hire a DUI attorney, and you can have a DUI Lawyer Charleston present during questioning.
Forming a Defense
You and your lawyer will work to formulate a defense that’s applicable to your case. A defense is a challenge you offer to attempt to prove your innocence, or that there isn’t enough evidence to move forward with a prosecution. To learn more about defensive tactics, consult a DUI Lawyer Charleston.
If your lawyer doesn’t see a defense that can help your case, your best bet is to plea bargain, or admit guilt in order to get a lesser sentence. Unfortunately, some places don’t allow plea bargaining for DUI.
Expungement of Records
If you are arrested and convicted of DUI, you may be able to have the crime expunged (removed) from your record. These records are removable after a certain period, either through destruction or sealing. With expungement, it is as if the crime never happened, and schools, employers and government agencies will not be able to find it on a background check.