Don’t Make These Mistakes with Your Long Island DUI Case
Hopefully you know to call an experienced DUI defense attorney as soon as possible after an arrest for DWI in New York. However, even before your arrest, decisions you make beginning the very moment of your initial stop may impact the best result your attorney can obtain for you. You may be faced with decisions from the initial stop all the way to a trial, and making the wrong choice can leave you with many of the long-term negative consequences a DUI conviction can bring. See below for common mistakes people make in their New York DUI case, and call 888-DUI-LAWYER after a Long Island DUI arrest for the best chance at a positive outcome.
Control your demeanor inside your car. Beginning as soon as the officer approaches your car, your appearance and actions for the duration of the stop will be closely scrutinized for signs of intoxication or impairment. Making sudden movements inside the car may make it appear like you are reaching for a weapon or attempting to hide evidence. If you are stopped, know your rights and what to do when pulled over, and comply with the police to the extent required. Don’t be argumentative or combative with police. If you believe the stop is somehow improper, your attorney can raise that objection at the appropriate time.
Watch your step around a DUI checkpoint. Many people panic when they see they are approaching a DUI roadblock or sobriety checkpoint. Even if they have only had a drink or two and are not intoxicated or impaired, they know how easily things can go wrong once police have any reason to suspect you may be DWI or DWAI. If your decision is to avoid the checkpoint, be careful about how you go about it. The police are likely watching cars as they approach the checkpoint and often have “chase cars” at the ready to go after people who try to evade a roadblock. There is nothing inherently illegal or even reasonably suspicious about changing direction, turning down a side street, or turning into a parking lot or apartment complex. But too often people panic and make an illegal turn, stop in traffic or otherwise make an unsafe maneuver which in fact does raise suspicion and gives the police enough reason to stop you and investigate you further for signs of intoxication or impairment.
Don’t admit to drinking or being drunk. It’s not smart to lie to the police, but you are under no obligation to offer information either. If asked where you’ve been tonight, if you’ve had anything to drink and how much, you are within your rights to state that you prefer not to answer, and stay firm on that point. Your responsibilities at a traffic stop do not extend beyond providing your license and registration and complying with direct commands from the police, such as to step out of the car or take a chemical test if you are placed under arrest.
Don’t talk to the police or prosecutors without your attorney present. If you’ve watched a cop show in the last fifty years, you are familiar with Miranda warnings. Pay attention to your rights and use them. If you are in custody, respectfully decline to answer any questions without your lawyer present. Talking to the police without counsel present will not do your case any good but will only make it harder for your lawyer to help you.
Request a DMV Hearing. Your license may be suspended by the judge after your arraignment, or by the DMV in an administrative proceeding. In either case, you have a right to a hearing before any suspension. This hearing is not automatically scheduled for you; you have to request it. Not only may you be able to save your license; valuable information can often be gained at these hearings which can help you in your criminal case.
Don’t plead guilty just to get it over with. It is understandable to want to put a drunk driving arrest behind you as soon as possible, but you should never plead guilty without first talking with an experienced New York DUI defense attorney to determine whether a plea is in your best interest. The effects of a guilty plea are felt long after you pay your fine and fees; there is a license suspension, increased insurance rates, impact on your career and all the negative consequences of a criminal record. At 888-DUI-LAWYER, we offer a free initial consultation, so you have nothing to lose by contacting us first.
Hire a knowledgeable and experienced DUI defense attorney. Hiring the cheapest attorney you can find is often more costly in the long run than hiring a highly-qualified attorney at the outset. Worst of all is deciding to represent yourself. Even if you are intending to plead guilty, get the help of a skilled and knowledgeable lawyer who will look out for your best interests and advise you on your options.
Call 888-DUI-LAWYER for Long Island DUI Defense
If you have been arrested for a DWI, DWAI or other drunk driving offense in Long Island, call 888-DUI-LAWYER to avoid mistakes and make the best decisions in your DUI case.