If you have been arrested for driving under the influence, you should always consult with a criminal attorney. Many people equate a DUI with a traffic ticket or a misdemeanor that results in a fine, but make no mistake, when charged with a DUI, you are being charged with a serious crime, and the consequences are serious as well.
Not having an attorney is a mistake
If you have been drinking while driving, it is possible to be punished for the crime in a way that is far worse than many others would have been punished. The reason for this is not having any legal representation. People who are pulled over in their car under the suspicion of driving under the influence will often think of themselves as being stupid, especially if they have not been drinking excessively. They confess to everything, believing that honesty will bring leniency, but the court system can take advantage of an honest person. They are not on your side.
Never admit to any guilt
Whatever you say will most certainly be used against you in court, so there is no reason to give an arresting officer any more information than is contained on your driver’s license. By speaking truthfully, you are only making it hard on yourself. Whatever mitigating circumstances there are in your case will no longer matter. Once you have admitted to everything, a judge can maximize your penalties, and in today’s environment, people have no patience or sympathy for those driving under the influence. If a judge gives you the maximum penalties, the public is on his or her side.
Firsts time DUI in California
The penalties for a first time offender can be severe. In fact, the fines can reach up to $1,000 and six months in jail. This combined with a four month suspension of your driver’s license and probation can ruin your life for many years. Of course, these penalties only get worse if you already have a conviction for DUI on your record.
The importance of an attorney
There is a good chance that a criminal attorney can mitigate the penalties, and depending upon the particular circumstances, the charges can be fought successfully resulting in a not guilty verdict or having the district attorney’s office drop the charges.
Always remember to remain silent after your arrest, and let your attorney do the work of your defense. Make sure you use a good criminal attorney with experience with DUI cases. In the Oakland area, one example is Attorney Louis Goodman.