Winning or losing a DUI case starts when the police pull you over. Unfortunately, this is also when you can make mistakes that jeopardize your case and make it hard for your Charleston DUI defense lawyer to defend you. Therefore, you must take intentional steps to avoid mistakes that impact your case and result in more severe punishments.
But what are these mistakes? This article sheds light on five common errors that will harm your case. Contact our legal team at Charleston DUI Guy if you need additional information on DUI charges and the defense process.
Charleston DUI Defense Lawyer Discusses Five Mistakes That Harm DUI Cases
Knowing the mistakes, you are likely to make when stopped or arrested for driving under the influence reduces your likelihood of making them. Therefore, below, we discuss five common mistakes DUI suspects make that harm their case.
Failing to Keep Silent During an Arrest
When faced with a possible DUI arrest or charge, the smart thing to do is to avoid saying anything. When reading your Miranda Rights, the arresting officer tells you you can remain silent as your words can be used against you in a court of law. However, people are either unaware of this right, forget the meaning, or ignore it.
As such, they say more than they should to the arresting officer. The goal is to try to coax the officer or talk their way out of being arrested. However, this is often counterproductive, as anything you say can be used against you.
Therefore, it is best to stay silent. Don’t admit to the officer your drank or try to strike a bargain with them. Always remember that just because you were arrested for a DUI does not mean you will face a charge.
Instead of trying to sweet-talk the officer, pay attention to the arrest procedure if you are sober enough to do so. Any irregularity during your arrest is enough reason for your Charleston DUI defense lawyer to have any charge brought forward dismissed. So, talk less and observe more.
Declining a Breathalyzer Test
Under South Carolina’s implied consent law, a person with a driver’s license gives the state consent to take a breathalyzer test at a DUI stop. However, you also have the right to refuse to take the test. But there is a penalty for doing so.
If you refuse a breathalyzer test, your license will likely be suspended. Also, it will count against you during a DUI trial if a blood test returns positive. So, while you can refuse a DUI test at the point of arrest, you should not do so if you know you drank more alcohol than you should.
Instead, take the test and let your Charleston DUI defense lawyer handle getting you off any charge or reducing your punishment. This is because the less evidence you give the prosecution against you, the better your chances of coming out on top.
Not Having All the Evidence Needed for Your Defense
Whether you are presenting a defense against a license suspension or during a court trial, you need evidence to tell your story. Having proof also helps you refute the prosecution’s claims and get the charge dismissed or your sentence reduced.
It is also crucial to inform your Charleston DUI defense lawyer of the proof you have. For instance, if you recorded your arrest, ensure you hand over the video to your attorney, They might be able to spot an irregularity that will help your claim.
If you have a medical condition that increases your blood alcohol content when you haven’t drunk, then request a copy of your medical record. Afterward, hand it over to your lawyer. Lack of evidence will affect your defense, and there’s not much your Charleston DUI defense lawyer can do without proof.
So ensure you get all the evidence needed. If you are attending a hearing for license suspension, give your lawyer all the necessary documents.
Being Dishonest With Your Lawyer or the Police
There are two people you should never lie to as a DUI suspect: your lawyer and the police. If you lie to the police, the prosecution will use it against you during the trial. Also, deceiving the police is useless, as they will investigate the case and likely discover the truth from falsehoods.
So, rather than lie to the police, stay silent until your attorney arrives. Then, irrespective of the questions asked and your desire to respond, don’t do so. Also, be completely honest with your lawyer; not doing so will jeopardize your case.
Suppose you were out partying and had one too many drinks. Don’t tell your lawyer you only had a few beers. Instead, tell them everything from the number and kinds of drinks you had to other events that occured moments before the arrest. Any information given to your lawyer is protected by attorney-client privilege and will not be shared with a third party.
Not Getting Legal Representation
A DUI is not a civil wrong but a criminal offense. If found guilty, you will not only lose your driver’s license or be made to install an ignition interlock device; you might face jail time and pay fines even as a first-time offender.
Therefore, handling your defense yourself would be unwise with your freedom at stake. Instead, hire an experienced DUI lawyer to help you navigate the legal process and protect your rights. There are several benefits to getting legal representation.
Aside from the experience, the lawyer has; they know how to poke holes in the prosecution case. They also know when to take a plea deal and when to reject one. This will be the case if there is inadequate evidence to refute the prosecution’s accusations.
When hiring a defense lawyer, ensure the attorney has a history of working with DUI suspects. Check their success rate and the lawyer’s reputation in the legal world. Finally, ensure the lawyer understands your case and will stick with you.
Don’t Fight Alone! Let Our Charleston DUI Defense Lawyer Help You
A DUI case can go from simple to complicated in no time, especially when you make mistakes. Therefore, you should not handle it alone. From the moment of arrest, demand a phone call to contact your attorney.
At Charleston DUI Guy, we have experienced lawyers who have helped several DUI victims avoid trial and get a suspense reduction. We will do the same for you while protecting your rights. In addition, we offer free case reviews, so contact us today to speak with our criminal defense lawyer in Charleston.