The consequences of a driving under the influence (DUI) conviction are dire. Therefore, when facing such an accusation, it's imperative to avoid these three mistakes that may lead to harsh sentencing:
Assuming You Can't Win the Case
This is a common mistake people make when they know they were actually driving under the influence. However, driving while intoxicated is one thing, and getting convicted for it is a different thing altogether. Therefore, don't assume that you are automatically doomed because you took wine with your meal, got stopped by an officer on patrol, and have now been charged with DUI.
Here are three examples of situations where you can beat a DUI charge even if you were actually intoxicated:
- If the officer stopped you illegally, then they cannot use the evidence they collected during the stop, so your case will be thrown out.
- If the breathalyzer wasn't properly maintained, then there is no way of knowing whether you were really drunk, and you can beat the case.
- If there was a break in the chain of evidence of your blood sample, then no one can confirm whether it was your blood that was tested, and you may be able to win the case.
Claiming That the Officer Is a Liar
Another mistake you shouldn't make is to paint the officer who arrested you as a liar. Some people think that they can succeed by claiming that the officer is "out to get them," but this approach rarely succeeds. Judges generally assume that police officers are trained professionals who deal with facts. They will not believe that the officer is lying unless you have hard evidence to the contrary; innuendos won't work.
In fact, even if you can prove that the officer's claims are incorrect, it is better to assert that the officer is mistaken in their facts than to claim that they are habitual liars. It is easier for a judge to accept that an officer made a mistake while recording your blood alcohol level (BAL) than to accept that the officer intentionally recorded an erroneous figure.
Accepting the First Plea Bargain Offer
Many criminal cases are dealt with via plea bargains, and DUI cases are not an exception. This allows the defendants to get reduced charges and sentences while the government saves resources in the process.
What you may not know, however, is that the prosecutor's first offer isn't likely to be their final or best offer. Even if they approach you with "this is the best I can do for you" claim, it isn't necessarily true. You may be able to get a better offer if you can prove how strong your defense is
You are more likely to make these mistakes if you are representing yourself. A seasoned DUI attorney has enough experience to avoid such dangerous mistakes.