DUI Tips from The DUI Team
Charges for driving under the influence should never go ignored, and yet thousands upon thousands of Americans face jail time because of them. Fortunately, a DUI lawyer in Tempe or Scottsdale can help you combat such charges. Before it gets to this point, it is essential that you pay attention to these tips.
Don’t drink and drive
- It is always wise to play it safe and bring along a designated driver (or taxi fare) if you intend to drink alcohol. In spite of this simple advice, hundreds of people in Arizona do drink and drive. The consequence could be a DUI
- A DUI conviction could truly change your life. You could lose your license and possibly even your job. You will be subjected to thousands of dollars in fines and fees and potentially even counseling or AA meetings. What’s worse is that you could also face probation, the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device and even jail time. These are all possible consequences for a first-time offender.
- The consequences can be much worse if you are a repeat offender, are charged with a felony alongside DUI or have a very high blood alcohol content. Fighting these charges is considerably more difficult, and you likely need a strong Tempe or Scottsdale DUI lawyer to fight back.
- If you do decide to go out and drink, you need to know the consequences. A designated driver or taxi cab are both more convenient (and affordable) than fighting DUI charges. Even if you do not intend to drink and drive, you need to have a plan at hand. Don’t let DUI charges “just happen” to you.
You have the right to remain silent, Use it
Upon getting pulled over, many people will begin to spout out an incriminating story. While it is wise to cooperate with police, you must also consider the need to protect yourself. If you are being pulled over in the wee hours of the morning, it is likely that the officer is under the impression you are intoxicated. This means what upon pulling you over, the officer will look for signs of alcohol consumption, including:
- Bloodshot eyes
- Red skin surrounding the face
- Slurred speech
- Alcohol odor
Even if the officer is being polite, he or she will start asking questions with the intention of looking for signs of alcohol impairment. You might be asked if you have been drinking, and if so, how much. If you answer questions relating to how impaired you might be, your case becomes difficult. Even the best DUI attorneys in Tempe prefer when their clients never admit to being impaired. Instead of lying, simply use your right to remain silent granted to you by the Constitution.
Refrain from taking field sobriety tests and portable breath tests
- It might be tempting to not show off your sobriety with the finger-to-nose test or the one-legged stand, but it is most likely to get you into more trouble. It is best if you can provide the officer with your driver’s license, proof of insurance and car registration without enduring any of the field sobriety tests or the breath test.
- An officer is likely to watch you fail the sobriety tests and take notes for court. This is going to be used in trial to prove that you were driving under the influence of alcohol. In fact, there are plenty of people who fail these tests even while completely sober. No matter how well you perform, you could still be arrested and charged with a crime. Any Scottsdale or Tempe DUI lawyer worth their salt will tell you that it just isn’t a good idea to perform these tests, especially since you are likely to get arrested anyway.
Use your right to an attorney
- Once you have been arrested, you have the right to speak to your attorney. You can request your right to counsel even before the officer has read your Miranda rights, which includes the right to remain silent. If the officers deny your request to speak with your attorney before answering questions, the entire case could be thrown out. This has happened before, and it is likely to happen again.
- Prior to taking a blood, breath or urine test, you have the right to speak with your attorney privately. Your attorney can be present and guide you through all the steps of evidence gathering to ensure that you are not left in the dark. A Scottsdale or Tempe DUI lawyer can help you gather the appropriate evidence to secure your innocence. If you don’t contact an attorney after your DUI arrest, you lose out on this opportunity.
Ask for an independent blood test
It is wise to ask that you are released so that you can obtain a blood test from an independent facility. In some cases, the officer arresting a DUI suspect will be told that he or she has the right to obtain independent blood test results. This could very well be your chance to get off without facing consequences associated with a DUI. Unfortunately, few people actually bother to complete this vital step.
- Essentially, obtaining an independent blood test means that the officer intends to charge you with a DUI and take you to court as a result of your blood or breathe test. You still have the chance to prove your innocence via another lab. You can take the blood sample to your own laboratory, or you can call for a phlebotomist to come in and take the sample for you. You do not have to rely on the results provided by the justice system. You have other options.
- Unfortunately, few people realize how to test their blood. They have no idea how to reach a phlebotomist or an independent laboratory. That’s still okay — and it could still get you out of trouble. All you need to do is simply ask to be released to receive the test from an independent lab. If the officer refuses to allow this, your lawyer could argue that evidence is being suppressed.
- Essentially, the point is that you have the right to gather evidence to support yourself, and you have the right to fight back against the officer’s so-called evidence. If you can prove that your rights have been violated, you may get off without a hitch. DUI lawyers in Tempe and Scottsdale can provide you with plenty more information about your rights when you are pulled over for a DUI.
Write your own report
Simply because the officer took down a version of the police report does not mean that you shouldn’t as well. The officers take down their version of events in order to bring it up later in court during testimony. This eliminates the chance to forget important events and quotes. You should be doing the same.
- Typically, a DUI case might involve your word against that of the arresting officer. If you end up going to trial, the judge and jury might look at you as somebody who was drunk, even without knowing the whole story. If you write a report, the judge and jury are more likely to believe that you were sober and have a solid recollection of the events that occurred. You are considered much more reliable as a result.
- It can take months and maybe even years to get to trial for a DUI. It is just good sense to have a solid report of the events as they occurred in real-time. Take note of your version of events, any potential quotes and helpful pieces.
- Your Tempe or Scottsdale DUI lawyers may tell you not to show them your report so that it does not cross any ethical boundaries. This is also good for you because it helps to avoid potentially misleading the judge or jury.
Get a good attorney
A DUI defense lawyer could be your ticket to freedom, but it needs to be the right lawyer. DUI lawyers in Tempe and Scottsdale should have attended law school, passed the Arizona Bar exam and focused on defense tactics. For example, you do not want to hire a divorce and child custody lawyer to handle your case in court. You need a tried and true DUI attorney. Tempe and Scottsdale DUI lawyers are their own breed. In fact, some common criminal defense lawyers don’t specialize in DUI cases. You need to find an attorney who specifically says he or she can work with your case without a hitch.
- The DUI team is made up of DUI attorneys in Scottsdale and Tempe who know exactly what they are doing. They have handled numerous DUI cases and had charges dismissed. They have taken cases to trial and received verdicts of Not Guilty, and have even proven that evidence was dismissed. These cases are properly argued in court, and they come from out-of-the-box thinking and quick action.
A DUI is a serious matter, and you need a serious attorney to fight for you. Don’t become a victim by refusing to hire an attorney who can defend you in court.