Driving while intoxicated carries heavy penalties. You could serve time in jail if you are convicted, as well as have to fork over money for large fines. If you are arrested and charged with a DUI, hiring a good drunk driving attorney is a must. An attorney will be able to assess your situation, determine whether or not they can be of assistance to you and, above all, explain the charges and penalties they incur. They also know their state’s laws concerning drunk driving and what penalties you may have to accept in the way of restricted driving privileges, house arrest and probation. Understanding a DUI is highly important to making sure you do not receive a greater punishment.
Refusal of a breathalyzer test – In most states, the refusal to take a breathalyzer test will result in immediate arrest. Most times, it is in your best interest to take the test, even if you have had a few drinks. Everyone metabolizes alcohol differently and your BAC may be lower than you think. Refusing to take a breathalyzer only prolongs in the inevitable and may make it look as if you have something to hide.
Failure to pass a field sobriety test – If an officer pulls you over for suspicion of drunk driving or because you were driving erratically, they will ask you to perform the tasks included in a field sobriety test. If you fail a field sobriety test, it does not mean you are automatically going to jail. Physical disabilities may prevent you from accomplishing some of the tasks efficiently. Failure to pass a breathalyzer as well as the field sobriety test, however, may be difficult to overcome.
Public intoxication – A drunk driving attorney may also be of assistance if you are a passenger in a vehicle that has been pulled over. If the officer believes you are acting in a combative or reckless manner, you can be charged with public intoxication or disorderly conduct. Even though you are not operating the vehicle, a public intoxication charge may have to be reported to your bureau of motor vehicles or the Secretary of State in your area.
Damage to property – If you are involved in an alcohol related automobile accident, you will be offered the services of a public defender or you will be responsible for acquiring your own drunk driving attorney. With their assistance, you will better understand the charges that have been brought against you as well as any penalties and fines you will be responsible for. Because of the damage to another person’s property, you will also be required to replace or pay for the damaged items.
Loss of life – When a death occurs due to an alcohol related automobile accident, felony charges may be placed against the offending driver. Either through a public defender or hiring a drunk driving attorney, you will have to have some form of representation during the court proceedings and subsequent trial. When loss of life occurs, judges are less likely to be lenient with the offender. It is in your best interest to have an attorney with you every step of the way.
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