“If you were arrested for DUI, you should become familiar with your rights, so you can preserve your defense options.”
An arrest is not a “guilty” verdict or conviction. It is an accusation of criminal charges, and the first stage of the criminal justice process. You have a constitutional right to defend the charges against you, and you should always invoke it. Your rights may be invoked following an arrest as follows:
- Advise the arresting officer that you with to invoke your right to remain silent following your arrest, until your attorney can be present; If you simply remain silent, you will appear uncooperative, so you must either do so verbally or in writing;
- You should cooperate in the booking process, and answer routine identity questions. However, if you are questioned or interrogated about the criminal charges, simply state, you wish to invoke your rights and refrain from participating in questioning or interrogation until your lawyer is present;
- Plead “Not Guilty”. It is best to allow your attorney to enter this plea for you;
- Hire a criminal defense firm that is experienced in defending individuals arrested for DUI as soon as possible;
- If you have not retained a legal representation to defend your charges, you must appear for your scheduled court arraignment or other hearing as instructed. Failure to appear will result in a bench warrant for your arrest.
Why You Should Preserve Your Rights
Failure to preserve your rights could jeopardize your future defenses. Any comments made about your charges may be used as evidence against you, even if they seem harmless to you. You have a constitutional right to avoid self-incrimination. Also, if you plead “Guilty” at your Arraignment and are not under advisement of legal counsel, you may detriment your rights to legal representation, and defense of your charges. By pleading guilty without qualified representation, you are admitting full guilt, and informing the court that there is no defense for your actions. This will result in a swift and harsh conviction.
You should always consult a criminal defense firm before entering any plea or appearing in court for your charges. There may be defenses you are not aware of that can be used to challenge evidence, get charges reduce, mitigate sentencing, or even lead to a dismissal of charges in your case.