Tips to Avoid A DUI Arrest

legal news for consumers

To be honest, there’s only one foolproof way to avoid a DUI arrest: Don’t drink and drive. However, there have been instances where people have been arrested for DUI even without a drop of alcohol in their system. If you don’t want to be arrested for DUI for any reason, here are some tips that might help.

Don’t drive if you’re drowsy or exhausted

Never get behind the wheel if you’re feeling the slightest bit sleepy or tired. When you’re in such a physical state, you are likely to have difficulty focusing on the road, and your driving will be erratic. Cops will notice this, and they will pull you over on suspicion of DUI. Then again, there is a laundry list of serious reasons why you shouldn’t drive drowsy and tired. Far too many people have died because someone fell asleep at the wheel, and a DUI arrest would be the least of your problems.

Don’t give cops any reason to stop your car

To be able to take any action against you, the police will need probable cause, which could be several things. Busted lights and turn indicators, shattered windows, and other outward signs that there is something wrong with your car could be reasons enough for cops to stop your vehicle. If you’re driving a car with an expired license plate, that would be probable cause as well. If you run a red light or commit any kind of traffic violation, you’re likely to be pulled over by officers. Never give the police any reason to stop your car.

Be polite to cops

If an officer pulls you over, don’t forget to be polite and cooperative the entire time. Do the opposite, and you will only escalate things, and you could end up being handcuffed and booked for a DUI and a number of other charges, regardless of whether or not you were actually intoxicated.

Invoke the Fifth

Let’s say that you did have one drink, and you were pulled over. The officer will ask you several questions, including some about drinking. If you’re concerned about incriminating yourself, you can always invoke your Fifth Amendment rights and refuse to answer the question. But don’t lie, because that can be used against you in court if ever you’re arrested.

Still, if you get arrested for DUI, keep calm, and remember that there are things that you must refrain from doing to improve your chances of beating the charge. Check them out in the infographic below.

Infographic provided by Law Office of Michelle Bell

Facing criminal charges? Know your rights

Being charged with a crime is no laughing matter, even when it’s a simple DUI and all you need is an experienced DUI lawyer. Any criminal charge, after all, comes with hefty fines and penalties if you are found guilty. And if the crime you’re being charged with is a capital one, your life is on the line as well.

When criminal charges have been filed against you, you should do your best to defend yourself. Getting the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney would be a good place to start. More importantly, you should be fully aware of all your rights. You are, after all, presumed innocent until proven guilty, and entitled to all the rights guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States.

The right to remain silent

Whenever you’re questioned either prior to or during court proceedings, the accused has the right to refuse to comment or give an answer. It’s usually a way of invoking your right to avoid self-incrimination as stated in the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

The right to counsel

The Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees that every criminal defendant has a right to be represented by a lawyer. If the accused cannot afford an attorney, the state will have to appoint one for him or her at no cost. It’s also important to remember that the right to legal representation is not limited to criminal trials. A person charged with a crime has the right to have a lawyer every step of the way, from the moment of arrest right through the appeals process after conviction.

The right to a trial by jury

Under most circumstances, criminal defendants have a right to a trial by jury as explicitly stated in Article III, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution and the Sixth Amendment as well. Aside from a trial by jury, the defendant also has the right to a public and speedy trial. The Supreme Court, however, has made it clear in Baldwin v. New York, 399 U.S. 66 (1970) that only serious offenses that carry a potential sentence of more than six months’ imprisonment merit a trial by jury. For petty offenses, defendants will have to settle for a trial by judge.

If you want to know more about your rights, check out the infographic below so you can better prepare for your defense with the help of a good criminal defense lawyer.

Information and infographic provided by NTL member Brian D. Sloan

Rights you ought to remember infographic