Being pulled over for DUI (Driving under the Influence) is not only embarrassing but also the charge carries serious punishments. You could be facing suspension of your driving license, and jail time of up to six months, fines of up to $1,000, and/or mandatory completion of DUI program. However, the duration of suspension of license and jail time become much longer when you are facing second and third time DUI charges. Seeing the severity of possible punishments, it is very important to first contact a Los Angeles DUI lawyer, when you are facing such charges.
Why You Need a Lawyer
DUI laws in LA are quite complicated and you definitely need professional help of experienced Los Angeles DUI lawyer to beat these charges. Your lawyer will be able to help you in the following ways –
• Fight your case with effective defences that can get your charges dropped
• Negotiate your case skilfully, so that your charges are minimized resulting in minimum punishment and fines
• Help you get your driving license back
• Delay court proceedings if required, to get a better judgment or outcome
• Help in transferring your case to another judge who could be more lenient
• Provide you with the right advice and support
Can You Help In Your Case?
Even though a reputed Los Angeles DUI lawyer will be expertly handling the proceedings, there are many things you could do, that can help your case. The things you do from the time you are stopped by the police, and the way you communicate with your lawyer will all have an impact on your case. Here are some important tips that can help you greatly in fighting your DUI conviction.
The First Things You Should Be Doing after DUI Accusation
Obviously, the first thing to do is get professional help, and that would be hiring a reputed and experienced Los Angeles DUI lawyer who has successfully handled many such cases. Such a lawyer will be able to aggressively fight your case and defend your rights, especially your driving license. Apart from hiring a good attorney, you could do certain things that will help your lawyer fight your case more effectively.
Be Careful about How You Behave and What You Say
When the police signal you to stop, slow down immediately, and pull over by the side of the road properly. Do not start arguing with the police officer, but at the same time do not volunteer information. If you are uncomfortable answering certain questions, plead the fifth and remain silent, especially for questions about how much you had to drink. However, do not refuse to take the BAC test. The officer can charge you for DUI, if your BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) is 0.08 or more.
Note Down all the Details
Winning a DUI case is all about details. Hence, you need to note down everything at the scene itself, as you are likely to forget important details. Do not leave out anything, even if it seems insignificant at that time. Let your Los Angeles DUI lawyer figure out the important detail that is going to win your case. Here are certain things that you should not forget to note down –
• The time and place where you were stopped by the police
• The reason given by the police officer for stopping you
• Whether the police officer administered the breath test, and what was the device used
• The questions the police officer asked you and your answers, especially questions about what you had drunk or eaten
Try to Find a Few Witnesses
Witnesses are very important for your defence and for testifying about what happened before, during, and after you were stopped by the police. If you were attending a party or event, ask your friends or acquaintances if they are willing to testify at your trial. Take the help of your family members, who are willing to support, your side of the story.
Remove Online Photos and Posts that could be incriminating
Prosecutors will usually investigate social media to find incriminating evidence to use against you. Hence, if you or your friends have posted photographs, videos, or comments suggesting drunken behaviour, remove them immediately. Even if you were not drunk in the photos, they could provide good ammunition to the opposing side, and hence do not hesitate to remove all such posts and photos from social media.
Communicate Well with Your Los Angeles DUI Lawyer
Your lawyer needs to know everything to fight your case effectively. Hence, provide a detailed account of everything that happened. The notes you have written down should help you reconstruct the whole set of events that took place. If you had former DUI convictions or were accused or convicted of any other crime, your Los Angeles DUI lawyer should know about it.