If you are charged for driving under the influence, you should act quickly and locate a reliable DUI attorney who will be able to prepare your defense. A DUI lawyer will explain your rights to you, discuss the available options and navigate you through the complex legal system. Without a lawyer, it is impossible to win the case. In order to understand DUI, it is very important to understand every part of this legal process. Read on to learn more about being charged for DUI.
Arrested for Drunk Driving
In legal terms, being arrested means you will be placed under police custody. An arrest can occur only under the authority of the officer. If you are pulled over for impaired driving, this actually means that the office has either observed you committing a crime or showing signs of abnormal, potentially drunk behavior, meaning he has probable cause to believe that you committed a crime. If a driver drives erratically, a police officer can stop you and ask you to submit a sample of your breathe or conduct field sobriety tests. If your BAC level is .08% or higher, most state laws consider this a sufficient cause for arrest. However, even if your BAC level is below .08%, you may still be arrested if the officer sees obvious signs of impaired driving. If the police officer doesn’t have a breathalyzer, he can issue a blood or urine test once they take you to the police station. You cannot refuse a chemical test, breath test refusal leads to automatic legal consequences and fines. Field sobriety tests are also designed to determine whether or not you are fit to drive. If you fail one of these tests, you may also be arrested. However, fields sobriety tests results are not hard evidence as blood and breathalyzer test results.
After the arrest on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, the officer will take you to a central location where you will be booked. Booking is an administrative process that consists of police officer recording your personal information, facts and circumstances of the alleged crime, searching for information on possible past criminal activities or offenses, and similar. You DUI attorney can also examine all the gathered information and evidence and possibly challenge or even disprove them in court. It is not wise to refuse a breath test because that won’t help you get your charges dropped. When you earned your license, you have automatically agreed to submit to a test whenever a police officer ask you to do so. This is called implied consent.
After booking, you will be placed in a holding cell or in a local jail. Depending on the specific circumstances of your case, you can be released on bail. Bail is a process that involves paying money in order to be released from custody. This option is not available to everyone. Also, paying bail doesn’t mean you are free of charges. After your release, you will have to appear for all scheduled court proceedings. If bail is not available immediately after booking, the judge can decide when or whether you are allowed to be released on bail. For example, if you have a criminal record, such as prior DUI offenses, you will probably have to pay a higher price to be released. If you have hurt somebody, caused an accident or damaged someone’s property, you can’t be released immediately.