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First DUI Offense- What Should I Do?

photodune-11184560-handcuffs-with-hand-xs.jpgBeing arrested for a DUI offense can be a nerve wracking experience. The mistake of drinking and driving can result in you spending time in jail, paying high court fees and penalties, in addition to going through a lengthy court process. You should contact an experienced DUI attorney upon being arrested for a DUI in the Washtenaw County area. Do not delay until you are charged with drunk driving in court. Having a DUI attorney by your side early in the criminal justice process could not only give you peace of mind but will start the process of developing a good defense strategy. 

Call 734-274-6567 to discuss your case in confidence. Read on to learn more about what you should do if arrested and charged with a DUI offense in Ann Arbor.

Know Your Constitutional Rights

When you are taken into custody under the suspicion of a DUI, you have the right to remain silent. You do have to disclose your personal information to the arresting officer which can be easily found on your driver's license (example - name, date of birth, address). In addition, you will need to provide your vehicle registration and insurance card to the arresting officer. Outside of this, you do not have to state anything. Typically, officers will ask you questions about whether and how much you had anything to drink prior to driving. Those questions are permissible at the scene and your answers will be used against you. The Miranda Warning isn't required until you are taken into custody and/or arrested.

Upon being arrested, you may immediately invoke your right to an attorney. Do not answer any questions about the alleged offense or state anything outside of this request for an attorney. Anything you say could be used against you. Some officers will not advise you of the Miranda Warning after a drunk driving arrest. If a Miranda Warning was read to you while in custody, and the police attempted to solicit an incriminating statement from you to use in court, immediately notify your attorney. Depending on the nature of the statement, your attorney can try to get it suppressed.

Discuss Your DUI Charge with an Experienced Attorney

Upon being released from police custody, promptly retain a drunk driving attorney. You will need to describe in detail to your attorney the nature of the traffic stop. This includes informing your attorney about any field sobriety tests you took, whether you consented to take a roadside test, and what was the initial cause of the traffic stop. Make sure you tell your attorney that this is your first DUI offense.

Request A Secretary of State Implied Consent Hearing

In addition to defending a criminal charge, you will also have to request for your driving privileges to be restored in a civil administrative hearing if you refused to take a breathalyzer or other chemical test at the officer's request. You must request a hearing through the Secretary of State Traffic Safety Division within 14 days of being served with the Notice of Refusal in order to have a hearing scheduled to try to have your driving privileges restored. Contact me for more information about the administrative hearing and how to best prepare for it.

Attend the Arraignment

Make sure you have retained an attorney prior to attending your arraignment. At the arraignment, you will be asked to enter a plea of "guilty," "not guilty," or "no contest" to driving under the influence. If you plead guilty or no contest, your case will end and the judge or magistrate will schedule a sentencing hearing. If you plead "not guilty," the judge or magistrate will set a future court date for a pretrial hearing with the prosecutor. It is best to plead "not guilty" or stand mute at an arraignment.

Consult with a DUI attorney to discuss your case prior to entering any type of plea. Depending on the evidence supporting your defense, your attorney may be able to have the charge against you reduced or completely dismissed. Contact Ann Arbor DUI attorney Stacey Washington for a consultation.

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