A DUI describes being in control of a vehicle while impaired by alcohol or drugs, both recreational and prescribed by a physician. Every year, thousands of people are arrested for DUIs in the United States, with a national DUI arrest rate of 287 for every 100,000 citizens in 2019 alone.
Many people request the services of a DUI attorney to guide them through the legal process to potentially lessen or even remove charges. If you’re in the process of hiring an attorney, here are a few of the most important details to share with them.
Whether You Have Previous Criminal Offense Convictions
If you hired a marijuana attorney to assist with a DUI charge after you were caught under the influence of marijuana while driving, it’s essential to tell them whether you have previous convictions. Any prior alcohol or drug-related convictions might impact the outcome of your sentence or even increase its severity. Even if your conviction was a long time ago or in another state, ensure it’s one of the first things you share with your chosen attorney.
Any Witnesses to Your Condition
Most lawyers learn about the power and importance of witnesses during their law school years. They can often make or break a case. While your attorney is learning more about your unique situation, inform them about anyone who might have seen you consume drugs or alcohol in the lead-up to your arrest. By informing them about potential witnesses, they can do their best to avoid any surprises and have strategies in place for how to manage anyone testifying against you.
Anything You Said When Caught
We have Miranda Rights, which means we have the right to remain silent, as anything we say can and will be used against us in a court of law. While most people understand that they have this right, it’s not uncommon for people being arrested for driving under the influence to provide information to police officers.
If you answered police questions or shared information with law enforcement, ensure your attorney knows exactly what you said. This information will likely come up in court, and if your lawyer is aware of it, they can develop a defense strategy that includes it.
Whether You Performed a Field Sobriety Test (FST)
Police officers conduct field sobriety tests to determine a driver’s impairment levels. They assess balance, coordination, and attention levels if they suspect intoxication. If you were pulled over for suspected intoxication and performed a field sobriety test, make sure your lawyer knows about it. If you believe you performed the tests well, your attorney might request any available camera footage that you might be able to use to your advantage.
Some medical conditions can affect people’s ability to perform field sobriety tests. Some might even momentarily impact your ability to drive well, causing the police to need you to pull over. If you have any medical conditions that might explain your driving behavior or inability to drive well, discuss these with your attorney. They might contribute to reduced charges.
There are no guarantees that you will reduce your charges or eliminate them altogether with the help of a DUI attorney. However, you might be in a much stronger position if you make your attorney aware of this information above.
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