It's normal to feel anger and stress following a DUI arrest. For many, a DUI is their very first experience with criminal charges and even if it is not, the mere possibility of harsh penalties can be upsetting. Still, it is important to remain calm and focused during this time, seek proper counsel, and face your charge with confidence. At Beckham Solis, Attorneys at Law, we have seen too many DUI defendants make mistakes that end up negatively affecting their case and putting the best possible outcome of their charges out of reach. Listed below are the five most common DUI defendant missteps.
Assuming That You Are Guilty
DUIs are unique in that the police need to recover an illegal blood alcohol concentration reading before making an arrest. The reading is either over or under the limit—and, for many, this may seem like the definitive indication of guilt or innocence.
However, this is not always the case. Even if you have blown a BAC reading over the legal limit, there are many other factors of your case that need be considered. Reductions and dismissals might be possible based on elements of the arrest that you are not aware of. The best way to ensure that you consider every defense option is to contact a proven Miami DUI defense lawyer to help you evaluate your case.
Not Exercising Your Miranda Rights
When a DUI stop is happening, many suspects feel as if they can talk their way out of the situation and reason with law enforcement. This does not work. Continuing to speak to the police officers, especially after your Miranda Rights have been read, gives the officers more and more opportunity to catch you in a lie, determine that you are being aggressive, and claim other behaviors or information that can be admissible against you during your trial.
The best legal advice during a DUI stop is to comply with officers. Questioning, complaining, or resisting in anyway cannot only hurt your DUI case later in court, but, if extreme enough, can lead to additional criminal charges.
Not Acting Fast Enough
Like most states, Florida has a DUI " 10 Day Rule" concerning an administrative license suspension from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV). Many DUI defendants do not heed the urgency of this window and instead of fighting their suspension (or, if it's your first charge, agreeing to a Business Purpose Only license), end up with DUI penalties even before facing their criminal DUI charge.
Missing your 10 Day Rule window to fight your administrative license suspension should not have bearing on your criminal case, but being immediately proactive about your charge can not only ensure that you retain some of your driving privileges, but also show the judge that you're taking your charges—and your defense—very seriously.
Driving Without Your License
Unless you have requested an administrative DHSMV hearing within 10 days of your DUI arrest and successfully appealed to get your license back, your driving privileges will be affected by your DUI arrest. For many who are anticipating an even larger suspension from their criminal charge, it can be tempting to drive regardless of restrictions or a suspension prior to your trial.
This, however, is highly discouraged. Those who have been issued administrative suspensions or restrictions need to heed those rulings. Violating these rulings can lead to further penalties and—if it occurs before your criminal trial—only demonstrates that you are not responsible with your driving privileges.
Not Choosing the Proper Representation
Because DUIs are family common, many of those accused received outside advice about how exactly to handle the charges. Almost everyone has some connection to a lawyer, a law enforcement member, or even a driver who has a prior DUI who is ready to give an opinion of what to do.
It can be tempting to accept others' advice about your DUI and accept that "it's not a big deal." However, the right representation can make all the difference for your case. That is why it is so essential to seek out experienced, proven DUI defense that can successfully navigate your case in ways other lawyers cannot.
If you or loved have been charged with a DUI, then you should contact our legal team at Beckham Solis, Attorneys at Law. Our Miami DUI defense lawyers have more than 50 years of combined legal experience and have secured the best possible outcome for countless DUI clients in Miami-Dade Country.
Make the right move and contact legal counsel you can trust. Contact Beckham Solis, Attorneys at Law for a free consultation today.