The good news is not always will a DUI arrest result to a conviction, provided you play your cards right. The only problem is most people don’t know what to do right from the time of arrest and usually it is the lack of knowledge on the important steps to take that ends up leading to one’s conviction.
Just because you had been drinking before you were pulled over doesn’t mean that your case is done because DUI charges should only be placed on you if your BAC level was over 0.08. And even if you failed the breath or blood test, there are so many other legal grounds that have to be considered before you can be lawfully convicted.
To cut to the chase, here are 10 very crucial steps that you should take after a Denver DUI arrest.
One of the biggest mistakes many drivers make after being arrested for DUI is telling the police officers that they only had 1 or 2 drinks. At the time you might think that you are trying to help yourself get out of the mess you’re in but actually what you are doing is ensnaring yourself. Anything you say to the arresting police officers will somehow and often be used against you during your court case.
You should also not talk to your family or friends about the case because they can be called in as involuntary witnesses during your case leading to your conviction of the DUI charges against you. Everyone has a constitutional right allowing them not to self incriminate so you really are not legally mandated to answer any questions the officers ask. The only person you ought to open up to is your Attorney.
It is a grave mistake to refuse to take the breath or blood test if required of you by the arresting officers. Refusal to take the test immediately results in a one year license revocation and could also be used in court as evidence to show that you are guilty of the DUI charges. Keep in mind that you could always request for your blood to be retested in an independent lab of your choice if you doubt the results of the initial test.
Always embark on hiring the best DUI attorney upon your arrest. It is your attorney that you’ll want to disclose to all the facts surrounding your arrest and charges because it is him/her who will help you get the charges dismissed or get a better plea offer from the DA; depending on the circumstances of your case.
Once you have found the right attorney, do not withhold any information from them. Provided you have explained to your DUI lawyer everything there is to know, he or she will start looking for possible weaknesses and mistakes present in your case that could get your charges dismissed. For instance most attorneys will want to find out whether the arresting officer(s) had concrete Probable Cause of asking you to pull over. If they didn’t then it is quite easy to have your case dismissed by a Judge.
You should be aware that the prosecution is required to prove beyond any reasonable doubt that you are guilty of the DUI charges against you. However DUI attorneys are trained to find loopholes that can create reasonable doubt of the evidence provided hence result in your case being dismissed.
Your license will be taken as soon as you fail the alcohol test. It is necessary that you request for a DMV hearing within 7 days after the time when your license was taken. If you do not request for this hearing within seven days of your arrest, you will have your driving rights totally reaped off and generally your driving privileges will be taken for an extended duration.
But if you request for a hearing, you will be allowed to use a temporary license until the results of the hearing are announced which can help you drive to work and basically attend to your other personal needs.
What’s more, it is advisable that you request that the arresting officer be present during the DMV hearing. The reason is if they are present they will be asked to testify and this will give your attorney a great opportunity to find mistakes about your case that could provide grounds for dismissal.
If you do not make such a request and the arresting officer is not present at the hearing, the hearing will be entirely based on the officer’s report which could make it a lot more difficult for your attorney to help you win the case.
Additionally, if upon your request the officer doesn’t appear at the hearing, that right there is enough bases for your attorney to advocate for dismissal of your case. Moreover, in cases where the arresting officer is of questionable conduct due to previous records, your attorney can use that to create reasonable doubt concerning their report about you during the hearing.
It’s of great necessity that you get fully informed about all the details that pertain your DUI case and there is no better way to do so than to keenly read the arresting officer’s report. This is the only way you will be able to provide your attorney with all the minute details regarding your arrest and charges so that he or she can in turn build a stronger case in court refuting the prosecution charges.
It is likely that a date will be set when you will be expected to appear in court. Well, make sure you do. If you fail to appear in court as and when required to, a warrant for your arrest will be issued immediately resulting in jail time. Failure to appear in court will also lead to your bond being revoked. Also, you want to show the court that you are taking matters seriously so missing to appear on the court date will simply not be good for your case.
Another way to show the court (and Judge) that you are taking things seriously is to ensure you dress properly on the court date and arrive on time. Even if you are appearing in court the morning after your arrest; make an effort to straighten your clothes, make-up your hair and compose yourself so that you give a good impression. Such seemingly incidental things help a lot in presenting you in a positive light in front of the Judge making it easier for your attorney to convince the court that you are a responsible person.
The first DA’s plea offer is usually no good for you. Mostly the first offer you will get from the District Attorney is meant to quickly get done with your case and therefore if you yield you could find yourself facing some really serious penalties. The best thing to do if the case gets to this stage is let your attorney look into the case more deeply to see if he or she could find a way of getting your charges dismissed.
At this level you could also have your case dismissed on constitutional grounds if the prosecution is not able to provide enough proof supporting their charges against you. Sometimes a little patience can also enable your attorney to negotiate for a much better plea offer from the DA.
In situations where you license is revoked or suspended, do not make the mistake of driving if your license is yet to be reinstated. Driving Under Revocation is a more serious offense, which is attached to a longer jail time and higher fees than any DUI charges you may be facing. Consequently, although being denied your driving rights can be inconvenient and sometimes downright unbearable, you certainly do not want to face the repercussions of Driving Under Revocation.