With no aggravating factors, a first-time driving-under-the-influence charge (DUI) in Georgia is typically a misdemeanor. Causing a crash or injuring another person could increase the charges and penalties someone faces for a DUI. Previous DUI infractions can also impact the charges and consequences that someone faces.
Knowing how to protect yourself after the police arrest you is quite important. Otherwise, you might make one of the five mistakes below that would negatively affect you, potentially for years to come.
Don’t automatically plead guilty
Just because there was an issue with your breath test doesn’t inherently mean that the courts will convict you. Too many people plead guilty right away because they don’t want the DUI to affect their lives. What they don’t realize is that a guilty plea ultimately means they have a criminal record.
Don’t talk to other people while in state custody
Although inmate testimony is likely not going to be part of a DUI prosecution, what you say in state custody could come back to haunt you. Anything you say to other individuals waiting for arraignment or over the phone to someone other than your lawyer could end up affecting your case.
Don’t assume you can handle the stress of defending yourself alone
While it’s certainly true that a DUI charge does not carry the same magnitude of penalties as a homicide, defending yourself still requires legal knowledge add experience. If you attempt to defend yourself without professional help, you could make mistakes regarding court procedure or with the interpretation of the law and court precedent.
Don’t fall for manipulative police tactics
Many police officers we’ll try to trick or manipulate someone in state custody. They might act as though they are sympathetic toward you and claim that they want to help you. Police officers can lie to you to get you to share information or give consent for searches are testing. It’s important to realize that you cannot trust what they say to you because they don’t want what is best for you. They want to convict you.
Don’t drive if the state suspended your license
The suspension of someone’s driving privileges is a common consequence for DUI charges. Choosing to drive when you don’t have a license could not only lead to additional charges or tickets but could also complicate your defense.
Understanding the risks when fighting DUI charges can help you make better personal choices.