DUI Charges: What You Didn’t Know
It goes without saying that if you’ve been drinking heavily, the last thing you should be doing is operating a car. Countless deaths are caused every day by drink drivers, and getting behind the wheel yourself is an extremely stupid risk to take. Having said that, it helps for all drivers to know a thing or two about DUI charges. Here’s some things you may not have known before.
First of all, you have the right to refuse a field sobriety test. Even if you don’t admit to drinking at all when you’re stopped, there’s a fair chance that the officer who stopped you will ask you to perform a field sobriety test. Technically, police are supposed to make it absolutely clear to you that you have the right to refuse it. However, more often than not, the way they phrase it will make you feel like it’s more of an order. Always remember that you have the right to refuse. A lot of people who get pulled over for a DUI feel like they haven’t had that much to drink, and that they can easily complete the tests. What many of these people don’t realise is that the tests are designed to be difficult, and provide enough evidence to go ahead with the charge.
Many people also don’t know that they’re able to refuse breathalyzer tests. I wouldn’t really recommend this, but it’s still possible! After you’re arrested for a DUI, you’ll be taken to the police station and asked to perform a breathalyzer test. You can refuse, but you should be aware of the consequences if you do. Many states exercise what is called an “implied consent law”. This means that by having a license for the state, it’s implied that you consent to a breathalyzer test if and when you’re arrested on a DUI charge. If you refuse the test, then your license can be suspended for a year. If it’s your second refusal of a breath test, then it will be 18 months. Of course, sometimes you may have a legitimate reason for refusing the test, which will have to be upheld in court. By and large though, refusing a breath test will only make it harder for you to manage your criminal defense.
Finally, if you’re offered the chance to make a DUI plea deal, you should be aware that this isn’t your only option. There are many different types of plea deals; it’s not just a case of pleading guilty straight away and getting a reduced sentence. Plea deals can come in many forms and have various different nuances which every driver should be aware of. In most cases, things can be negotiated to an arrangement that satisfies all the parties involved. You may have to plead guilty to a less serious charge, plead guilty to one charge so that the other will be dropped, and take various other deals. The most important thing to remember is that your hands aren’t tied when the prosecution offers you a plea deal.