Arrested for DUI in Michigan? If you are not familiar with the criminal justice process, you are not alone. Getting arrested for drunk driving is not something most people know how to handle. For many individuals, this is the first time that they ever had to deal with the law, which can cause an ample amount of confusion. Unfortunately, there are many pitfalls that can be the difference between favorable results and a conviction.
The following are the most common mistakes people make after a DUI arrest?
- Ignoring the charges – One of the worst things you can do after getting arrested is not treating the charges seriously. Even if it is your first offense, you will be facing harsh penalties that can have a lasting impact on your life. Not only do you face jail time, fines and license suspension upon conviction, but having a permanent mark on your criminal record can cause severe damage to your employment prospects, your ability to apply for a place to live, and other issues.
- Trying to “talk your way out of it” – Some people believe their arrest is just a simple misunderstanding and attempt to disclose “their side of the story” in order to clear things up. However, the things you say can and will be used against you. So remember, anything you say could be used as evidence in a court of law.
- Admitting guilt – Just because you have been arrested doesn’t mean that you are guilty. If you plead guilty or no contest at arraignment, you do not allow your lawyer to conduct a thorough investigation into your arrest and mount a strong defense to your DUI charge. Additionally, the judge has the full discretion for your sentencing, which means that he/she can make you serve the maximum penalties.
- Driving when your driving privileges have been suspended – In many DUI cases, you will face the possibility of having your driver’s license confiscated. Unfortunately, many people still drive despite having their driving privileges taken away in order to commute to work or to conduct other day-to-day activities. If you are caught driving on a suspended license, it can lead to a longer suspension or even permanent revocation.
- Failing to appear in court – You will be required to appear for several court hearings after a DUI arrest. If you fail to appear at the scheduled hearings, a bench warrant will be issued in your name, resulting in an arrest. This can also lead to more penalties.
- Failing to hire a lawyer – The best thing you can do to avoid making any of the mistakes mentioned above is to obtain the legal counsel of a skilled criminal defense attorney. A lawyer can guide you through the intricacies of the criminal justice system, build an effective defense on your behalf, and ensure that you take all of the proper steps to avoid getting into further legal trouble. Attempting to represent yourself harms your case because you do not understand the full extent of the law.