Whether you find yourself at fault for a major traffic accident or you are pulled over by law enforcement for suspicion of a DUI, it is vital you do everything you can to avoid future legal charges or a conviction. A DUI or reckless driving charge can have a multi-year negative impact on your life. To avoid this fate, follow each of these tips from a criminal defense lawyer:
Tip: Behave in a Professional Manner with Everyone at the Scene
Though you may be amped up on adrenaline, it is imperative that you remain polite and in control at the scene. If you are ranting and raving, swearing, or yelling, things are likely to become a lot worse for you than they otherwise would be.
When asked, hand over your driver's license, proof of insurance, and car registration to the officer and wait for them to speak to you.
If you believe you may have had too much alcohol or you've taken drugs and the investigating officer decides to ask you questions about things you may have ingested before driving, you should know that it is your legal right to decline to answer them. If you know you are likely to be charged with a crime or a DUI, tell the officer you would like to consult with an attorney before you are interviewed.
Tip: Take the Field Breathalyzer Test if Asked
If you are asked to take a breathalyzer test and refuse, the implied consent laws in most US states dictate that you will automatically lose your driver's license for at least one year. Even if you have been drinking, you are better off taking the breathalyzer test on the scene and letting your future DUI defense attorney contest the results -- there are many aspects of this type of field test that lawyers can successfully fight in court.
Tip: Never Represent Yourself in Any Legal Proceeding - Ever
Finally, with the exception of small claims court where you are not permitted to have a lawyer represent you, it is never acceptable to represent yourself in any legal proceeding. Unless you went to law school and have been admitted to the bar, you are not the most qualified person to speak about your case in court. When you get a DUI or are charged with any other crime, you need the best legal representation you can find to fight for your rights.
For more information about legal services after an accident or DUI, contact professionals like Daniels Long & Pinsel.