Drunk driving is alarmingly common in the U.S. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 110 million drivers claim to have driven under the influence of alcohol or drugs. About 1% of these drivers face arrest and prosecution.
How you behave after a DUI arrest may make a considerable difference in the outcome of your case. Here are three mistakes you should try to avoid after a drunk driving arrest.
1. Pleading guilty without considering the consequences
It certainly may be in your legal and personal interests to negotiate a plea deal. Still, plea deals are often more valuable to prosecutors than defendants. If you do not understand the consequences of accepting a guilty plea, you are not ready to plead guilty.
2. Driving drunk again or with a suspended license
First-time DUI offenses often come with less severe penalties than subsequent ones. One of the more important things you can do after your DUI arrest is to avoid the driver’s seat. Remember, if you drive drunk again, a judge is likely to lose his or her patience. The same is true if you drive with a suspended license.
3. Not hiring an attorney
Prosecutors and members of law enforcement have extensive experience dealing with drunk drivers. Even though you probably have comparatively little experience with DUI matters, you can level the playing field by hiring an attorney.
Your attorney can help you explore possible defenses, avoid self-incrimination, negotiate a plea deal or even represent you at trial and on appeal. Ultimately, by hiring an attorney, you probably increase your chances of achieving a favorable outcome.