What to Do After a DUI DWI Arrest
Being placed under arrest can be a scary experience. A DUI arrest can be especially stressful because you may have been intoxicated when it occurred and because you may be wondering how it will affect your reputation. Fortunately, there are some best practices you can follow after you have just been arrested for DUI driving.
Exercise Your Constitutional Rights
The U.S. Constitution affords those who are placed under arrest certain rights. It is very important that you take advantage of these rights. They are intended to help you and protect you from incriminating yourself.
The first right is the right to remain silent. This means that you do not have to answer police and investigator questions at the time of your DWI arrest. If you are drunk, it is especially important that you refrain from speaking because you may be more likely to say something that could incriminate you.
The Constitution also affords you the right to an attorney. When you are taken into police custody, you will be given the opportunity to contact your DWI lawyer. Use this opportunity to inform him of your DUI arrest. You are allowed to have him present during questioning.
If you cannot afford a DWI attorney, you will have the right to have one appointed to represent you. This kind of an attorney is known as a public defender.
Depending on what state you live in, you may have the right to refuse to submit to a field sobriety test or a breathalyzer test prior to your DUI arrest. However, this varies from state to state. Also, there may be serious consequences for refusing to submit to such tests, such as having your license suspended for up to a year.
Discuss Your DUI Arrest with Your Attorney
Your DUI attorney will want to know details about your DUI arrest.
You should tell your attorney about how you were first pulled over. Was it because the police officer thought you were driving erratically, such as weaving or driving too slow? Was it because you had violated a traffic law, such as running a red light? Or was it because the police had set up a sobriety roadblock to pull people over and test them for drunk driving?
You will also want to tell your attorney about what tests you were subjected to. Let the lawyer know whether you were subjected to a breathalyzer test or field sobriety tests. If you were subjected to field sobriety tests, tell the lawyer which ones, such as standing on one leg or walking in a straight line.
You will also want to inform your lawyer about what else you were doing before you were arrested and what other conditions may have led to your arrest. For example, if you were sleep deprived or ill, that could have explained your disorientation during the field sobriety test.
If you have not worked with the lawyer before, let the lawyer know if this is your 2nd DUI arrest. If you have previously been convicted of DUI, your lawyer may have to come up with a different defense plan since multiple DUI arrests can result in harsher penalties.
If your DUI arrest is not a repeat offense and enough time has passed since your conviction, you may be able to get the record of your arrest either destroyed or sealed in a process that is known as expungement.
If you are worried about an employer or your school finding out about your DUI arrest, expungement is your answer. By expunging your records, an employer, school, or even government agency will not be able to find out about your conviction.
If you are interested in expunging your DUI arrest, you should talk to a DUI lawyer who has experience expunging DUI convictions.