Dui? Don't Plead Guilty
If you live in San Jose, you already know just about the last thing you want is a DUI. California laws have gotten so strict that a DUI can lead to serious fines, felony convictions, and a lot of jail time. Those are life experiences that no one wants to have. I recently had a friend wreck his car because he fell asleep behind the wheel. He was completely sober, but his accident still qualified as a DUI according to the new laws. Luckily, his accident didn't involve anyone else, or the police would have placed him under arrest in the hospital.
But it does happen. It might not even be intentional, due to something like a bad medical reaction or fatigue. If it happens to you, the first thing to remember is to be cooperative with the arresting officer. Becoming belligerent will only work against you at the time of arrest and in the court system. Don't do anything that could result in additional charges against you.
The second thing to remember is not to admit to anything. Don't plead guilty, and ask to contact a lawyer as soon as possible. They may try to convince you not to request an attorney, and I have even heard of cases where the officers involved have threatened suspects with harsher treatment for doing so, but stand your ground. You have a legal right to representation, and a qualified DUI lawyer has the legal knowledge necessary to help you navigate our complicated court system.
One thing that many people aren't aware of is the fact that in the case of a DUI in California, not only criminal and civil courts, but also the Division of Motor Vehicles can make separate claims against you. If you plead guilty or try to make a move without legal consultation, you could easily find yourself with civil fines, criminal convictions, and extra restrictions placed on your ability to operate a vehicle. This is something that could cast a long shadow over your life for years, even decades after the initial offense, and it really is in your best interest to prevent as much of that as possible by finding a competent and skilled DUI attorney.
Hopefully, you'll never find yourself arrested for a DUI, but if you or someone you care about finds themselves in that situation, take the time to educate yourself on your rights and consult with a qualified DUI attorney before entering a plea.
by: Art GibAbout the Author:Matlack Advisors (http://www.farlinghechtanddavis.com/) is a full service law firm that works with clients throughout the San Jose, San Francisco and Central Valley areas. Art Gib is a freelance writer.