Getting arrested for a DUI can be a stressful and terrifying experience and Georgia has stiff penalties for driving while under the influence. Avoid these common pitfalls that can inadvertently hinder your case.
These are five mistakes drivers make after being accused of driving while under the influence.
Assuming guilt: You are innocent until proven guilty. If you are arrested and go to jail, you may assume you are automatically guilty, but your guilt is not decided until you go to court. Even if you failed a breathalyzer test you are not necessarily guilty. A breathalyzer test is not the only determining factor of guilt. Often police officers fail to follow DUI protocol and any evidence collected becomes inadmissible. Make the prosecution prove your guilt rather than doing their work for them.
Talking too much: People babble when they are nervous and you could end up saying something self incriminating. You may be a very persuasive person but you are not going to talk your way out of this. If at all possible, remain silent during the arrest and do not speak until you have an attorney present.
Failing to act quickly: Neglecting the seriousness of the charge will not make it go away. In Georgia you have 30 days to request a hearing after your arrest and you have to pay a $150 fee to the Department of Driver Services (DDS). Pay the fee and request a hearing as soon as possible.
Driving after suspension: Do not get behind the wheel until it is legal for you to do so. In most DUI cases you lose your license for a minimum of 120 days. Adding additional criminal charges will not help your case and it just means you have more problems to deal with. Carpool with a coworker, ask a friend for rides or use a taxi service like Uber.
Hiring an inferior attorney or not hiring an attorney at all: The old adage you get what you pay for holds true for many things, including legal representation. An attorney only concerned with collecting a fee and encouraging you to make a plea deal does not have your best interests in mind. Additionally, not hiring an attorney and seeking advice from friends, relatives or the internet leaves you vulnerable. Hiring a quality attorney early on in the process will help you get your life back on track sooner rather than later.