There aren’t many people who don’t get an immediate sinking feeling in their stomach when they see blue lights in their rear view mirror. An even more disheartening feeling comes when a person is accused of driving under the influence.
This charge can carry serious repercussions for anyone who is convicted, so it’s important to fully understand what this accusation entails and what’s going to happen next.
When a DUI Stop Occurs
The most important thing to remember when initially stopped under suspicion of DUI is to not argue with the officer. He may have performed an illegal stop. He may perform an illegal search. The attorneys with http://www.pennsylvania-dui-lawyer.com agree that this can all be brought up in court at a later date, and it will definitely help a person’s case.
It’s also important to point out that a person should not refuse a breathalyzer test; even if they know they’re drunk. In some states, refusing a breathalyzer can be used as evidence of guilt. Refusing a breathalyzer requested by an officer of the law is also grounds for immediate revocation of a person’s license. In fact, refusing to take the breathalyzer will often result in harsher consequences than blowing over the legal limit on the test.
After the DUI Stop
If an officer believes that a person was intoxicated while driving, they will in all likelihood arrest that person. Anyone arrested for DUI will usually then be transported to the local jail, booked and placed into a holding cell. In most instances, an individual can call a lawyer, loved one or bail bond agent to secure their release at this point. Otherwise, the accused may have to sit in jail until their initial court appearance which is usually 1-2 days.
At this point, many people simply plead guilty to the DUI charge, but this is often an unfortunate mistake. Even if a breathalyzer showed that a person was under the influence, the DUI charge is still contestable. Far too often people believe that a DUI arrest is an automatic conviction, but this is hardly the case.
Fighting a DUI Charge
If you are arrested for DUI you do not need to plead guilty or fret extensively over the charge. There are actually several ways that a lawyer can help a person avoid the consequences of a DUI charge.
- Breathalyzer Calibration – If a breathalyzer isn’t properly maintained and calibrated by the state, then its results may read incorrectly during a test. This makes the breathalyzer results void in a court of law.
- Dieters or Diabetics – Diabetics and people with diabetes actually have higher than normal levels of acetone in their systems. Breathalyzers will sometimes misread this as alcohol. If this is the case, the breathalyzer results are inaccurate.
- Illegal Stop – Police officers have to have a legitimate reason to pull a person over. If this wasn’t the case, it’s likely that officers would just sit down the street from bars and pull over everyone who left the establishment (some officers do). When a person is stopped without probable cause, it’s considered an illegal stop, and any evidence gained (i.e. breathalyzer results) can be thrown out.
There are numerous other ways in which a lawyer can get a DUI charge reduced or thrown out altogether. The main reason that there are so many DUI convictions is the fact that people get scared and automatically plead guilty or nolo contendere (no contest) which is not necessarily the right thing to do. When charged with a DUI, it is vital to secure the services of an experienced DUI lawyer. Most lawyers will confirm that a DUI arrest doesn’t have to follow a person for the rest of their lives.
You may be fortunate enough to reside in a State that permits your DUI to be removed from your record after a certain period of time. If so, go down to your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and find out how to get the DUI off of your record. If you run into road blocks during this process it would be in your best interest to hire a knowledgeable DUI Attorney.
Nickey Williams is a homeschooling parent of two with a passion for writing to create awareness. If you are stopped for a DUI in Pennsylvania you may feel helpless but don’t be. The Law Offices of Steve E. Kellis, online at http://www.pennsylvania-dui-lawyer.com, can educate you on the procedures and will assist you in understanding that you do have rights. In many cases, the charges may be lowered or even dropped because of challenges presented by an attorney.