Many people whose first encounter with law enforcement is getting stopped on suspicion of DUI do not have a clear idea of what happens after the charges. If this happens to you, it is important not to rely on common misconceptions you may have heard from friends or relatives.
Unfortunately, misunderstanding the nature of DUI proceedings may lead defendants to make missteps that can result in serious consequences. For this reason, always consult an experienced attorney to get an accurate picture of what to expect.
1. DUI charges are minor
Some people think that if no one got hurt, DUI charges are nothing to worry about. Believing this can land you in a lot of trouble. While it is true that some factors such as causing a serious injury can aggravate DUI charges, a "plain" DUI is nothing to scoff at. If convicted, you can face criminal and administrative penalties that may include serious fines, jail time and license suspension or even loss. If you rely on your car to get to work or school, even something as "minor" as a suspension can seriously hurt your livelihood.
2. Once you fail a chemical test, you have no chance
Just because the breathalyzer showed an elevated BAC, or you failed the field sobriety test, does not mean it is time to give up because you do not have a chance. On the contrary, this is time to enlist professional help to fight the charges. Even evidence that appears solid can have defects that may render it invalid.
3. Prosecutors and police officers will figure out you were innocent
Other individuals tend to go the other way and reason that since they actually did nothing wrong, prosecutors will recognize that, and the case will go away. Unfortunately, that is unlikely to happen unless you have qualified legal help.
If you face DUI allegations, you need to take prompt action to protect yourself. A strong defense attorney can evaluate your case and develop the right strategy to stand up for your rights.