In New Jersey, facing charges for driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) is an extremely serious matter. Although DUI is classified as a traffic offense and not a crime, this does not necessarily work to your advantage, and the potential penalties include fines, surcharges, jail time, driver’s license suspension and more – all for a first-time offense.
The holiday season and celebrations are in full swing, so it is important for you to take affirmative steps to protect yourself and avoid making several critical mistakes if you are arrested for DUI. Here are five examples of what not to do after a DUI arrest:
1. Do Not Assume You are Guilty.
Let’s say you went out drinking to celebrate and you chose to drive home. The police pulled you over and charged you with DUI. You must be guilty, right? Not necessarily.
What was your blood alcohol concentration (BAC)? Are your Alcotest results accurate? Were you actually exhibiting signs of impairment? Did the arresting officer do everything necessary to properly observe your Constitutional and statutory rights? Even if you drank before you drove, you could still have numerous defenses available that entitle you to a “not guilty” verdict at trial.
2. Do Not Assume Everything Will Be Okay.
On the same token, it is important not to simply assume that everything will be okay. If you do not take your DUI case seriously, there is a very good chance that you will be convicted and face the maximum penalties under New Jersey law. Even if you were not drinking, you will need to present an effective defense in order to avoid an unfavorable outcome in court.
3. Do Not Miss Your Arraignment.
Your first court appearance after a DUI arrest is called an arraignment. You need to make plans to be there unless advised otherwise by your attorney. Your arraignment could be scheduled as soon as a few days after your arrest, so you should check now to make sure you know when you need to be in court.
4. Do Not Get Arrested for DUI Again.
After a DUI arrest, steps such as seeking voluntary alcohol treatment can help show the judge that you are serious about not becoming a repeat offender. On the other hand, getting arrested for another DUI is a reliable way to make sure the judge will not be on your side.
5. Do Not Try to Defend Yourself in Court.
When facing a DUI charge in New Jersey, you need experienced legal representation. You need a lawyer who can build an effective defense strategy, and who can challenge the government’s tactics prior to and during trial. If you try to defend yourself, you could end up paying the consequences for years to come, and you will never know what your life could have been like had you achieved a better outcome in your DUI case.
Speak with a New Jersey DUI Lawyer in Confidence
At Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A., we have decades of experience representing individuals in DUI cases throughout New Jersey. If you have been arrested, call 1-877-HELMER1 or contact us online now for a confidential consultation with an experienced attorney.