What Should I Do When I Get Pulled Over For DUI?
Imagine that you are driving home after a dinner with friends. As you pull out of the restaurant parking lot, you immediately see flashing lights behind you. You realize that you are being pulled over, and at that moment you remember that you had some wine with dinner. As you pull off to the side of the road, it starts to sink in that you could be charged with driving under the influence (DUI). Unfortunately, situations like these are all too common. To make things worse, you could be charged with a DUI even if your blood alcohol level is not above the legal limit. The officer simply must believe that your driving is impaired.
If you have recently been charged with driving under the influence, you are likely worried about the consequences of a conviction. With penalties including fines, a driver’s license suspension, and possible jail time, it is essential to avoid a conviction at all costs. With the help of Chicago DUI lawyer Michael O’Meara, you can obtain the best possible outcome in your case.
To find out how you can push back against the state’s accusations against you, call O’Meara Law at 312-909-0706 today.
You Have the Right to Remain Silent
Remaining silent is, perhaps, the most important thing to do if you are pulled over for a DUI. As you may know from movies and television shows, anything you say can and will be used against you. If you admit to drinking prior to being pulled over, the officer then may have probable cause to arrest you for a DUI, or at least to have you step out of the car and perform a field sobriety test.
When you are asked about your speed, drinking, or driving behaviors, politely decline to answer. You may talk calmly to the officer, but you are not required to give in-depth information. Under the law, you are only required to give your license, registration, and insurance information. You are not obligated to answer the police’s questions, and the police may not detain you for an unreasonable length of time.
Should I Refuse a Breathalyzer Test?
Depending on your situation and how much you’ve had to drink when you get pulled over, you may or may not want to refuse a breathalyzer test. The results of a breathalyzer test are often used as evidence of intoxication. If you have had nothing or very little to drink, it may be in your best interest to submit to a test. Keep in mind that refusal will likely lead to administrative penalties on top of any criminal penalties if they do achieve a DUI conviction even without the results of the breathalyzer test.
Call O’Meara Law Right Away If You’ve Been Arrested
If you are convicted of a first-time DUI, you may receive fines of up to $1,000 and up to six months of jail time. These penalties may not sound that bad, but remember that being convicted of any crime will result in a permanent criminal record. This can result in many collateral consequences, such as difficulties in finding a job. Continuing your education once you are released from custody might also be tough.
If you are facing DUI charges, an experienced Chicago DUI lawyer can help reduce your penalties, and in some cases do away with them entirely. Depending on the specific facts of your case, it may be possible to obtain the dismissal of your charges before your trial starts. For example, if there is evidence that the police pulled you over without a reasonable suspicion that you were committing a crime, or that they failed to follow procedure during their DUI investigation, your lawyer can ask the judge to dismiss your DUI charge.
Call 312-909-0706 now to see how we can help you avoid the consequences of a DUI conviction.