Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a mistake that many Massachusetts folks make every year. While getting the initial DUI in Massachusetts or anywhere is bad, there are a number of things that the suspected driver can do to exacerbate the situation. The following includes three things that you should keep in mind if you are pulled over for a suspected DUI.
- Knowledge is Power. Unfortunately, many drivers don’t know their rights during a DUI stop on the side of the road or during a systematic traffic stop. When facing charges for a DUI, it is important to know what rights you have and how to exercise them. For example, many Massachusetts residents are not aware that while Massachusetts is an implied consent state, meaning by driving on the roads in Massachusetts you implicitly give your consent to be tested in the event that you are suspected of driving while under the influence, you still have the right to refuse to submit to a blood or breath test for alcohol and/or drugs. There are consequences for refusal (your driver’s license will be suspended), but you do retain the right to do so. Further, the arresting officer must inform you of your rights upon arrest (your Miranda rights, i.e., the right to remain silent).
- A Lawyer Can Help You. It is best to get an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible after being charged with a DUI. Legal representation will save you a lot of trouble in the long run. While it might be expensive to hire a lawyer, your attorney will provide you with immense benefit. Good counsel will listen to the facts behind your case, analyze which defense strategies are available to you, and help you through the whole process. Some people choose to represent themselves, and often find themselves in more trouble than they started with. They might miss important deadlines for their case, or might not fully understand court procedure. An experienced attorney can take care of all of these things for you.
- A DUI Is Serious. There are many people who are charged with a DUI that do not take it seriously, much to their detriment. A DUI is a criminal charge, with significant implications upon conviction. A conviction could cost you a job or a scholarship, and could lead to other problems later in life since you will have a criminal record. Take it seriously and put in some effort by complying with the court and heeding your attorney’s legal advice. Pretending like your DUI never happened is one of the worst things you can do, and skipping court appearances can put you in the bad graces of the judge.
Contacting a Massachusetts Criminal Defense Attorney