Some people in Oklahoma may not understand how much a DUI charge can ruin their lives. They may feel that a charge is the same as a conviction and there is nothing they can do to get rid of it. As harmful as a criminal charge is, it is not the final verdict in a criminal case. Until there is a conviction, there are ways they may lessen the impact of a DUI charge on their lives.
Ignoring a DUI charge does not make it disappear. In fact, people risk jail time, fines and losing driving privileges indefinitely. To prevent issues that can make it harder to successfully defend a case, a person should consider avoiding the following things.
Driving on a suspended license
There is a strong possibility that the suspension of driving privileges has already occurred. Driving around before the license is reinstated can hurt someone's case and result in additional criminal charges and penalties. If someone suffers an injury or fatality because of a person driving with a suspended license, or if the driver's actions cause a significant amount of property damage, he or she could end up with a stiffer sentence.
Forgetting to show up for court
It is extremely important to keep up with the court date. If an offender fails to appear, the courts may issue a bench warrant for his or her arrest. Once the courts issue a bench warrant, it goes on a criminal record, and law enforcement has the legal right to arrest and keep that person in jail until the next court date. Not showing up also demonstrates to the courts that the offender does not take the situation seriously, and the prosecution may use this.
Engaging in behavior that damages character
A person's actions are admissible as evidence for the jury and judge to determine the strength and quality of his or her character. Posting pictures, making comments and sending messages online and on social media about a DUI, drinking and partying can show that a person is irresponsible and likely to commit the same offense again.
It is easy to feel confused about how to act and what to say when there are pending criminal charges. It is best for someone facing charges to be on his or her best behavior and not say or do anything that could hurt the case.