Whether it is your first offense or your fifth, getting arrested for a DUI is a stressful and confusing situation. Many people are not familiar with the criminal justice system, which means they are not aware of the potential pitfalls that can result in more legal trouble. If you take the proper steps and avoid the possible mistakes you could make during your case, it could mean the difference between your freedom and a conviction.
The most common mistakes people make after a DUI arrest in Idaho include the following:
- Plead guilty - The biggest mistake you can make during a DUI arrest is immediately assume that you are guilty. However, you are innocent until you are proven guilty in the court of law. So allow the prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty of drunk driving. Keep in mind, pleading guilty means that you won’t have an opportunity to defend yourself, resulting in serving the maximum penalties and getting a permanent mark on your criminal record.
- Try to talk your way out of it - Many people believe that they can clear themselves of any wrongdoing by explaining their side of the story. However, talking your way out of it can land you into more trouble. Remember, anything you say can and will be used against you. So exercise your right to remain silent and do not provide law enforcement with more information than they already have to convict you.
- Ignore the DUI charge - Doing nothing doesn’t mean your DUI charge will magically disappear. For instance, if you fail to appear in a scheduled court hearing, you may have a warrant issued for your arrest, resulting in additional penalties.
- Fail to regain your driving privileges - If you have been arrested for a DUI in Idaho, you need to request an administrative license suspension (ALS) hearing within seven days, in writing. Failure to do so means that your license suspension will go unchallenged and into effect. Not having driving privileges can make it more difficult to commute to work, attend school, make important appointments, and conduct day-to-day activities.
- Drive on a suspended license - Unfortunately, many people take the risk and drive while their license is suspended. This can lead to additional charges and more legal trouble.
- Do not hire a criminal defense attorney - Without someone with extensive knowledge of the criminal justice system on your side, you are vulnerable to the pitfalls of the legal process. A skilled DUI defense lawyer can ensure that you won’t make any of the mistakes mentioned above. Your attorney can investigate your arrest, collect evidence, and develop an effective defense strategy to either get your entire case dismissed or your charges significantly reduced.