Exactly What are Your Rights? Commonly Overlooked OUI Facts
Many people assume that when you have been charged with Operating Under the Influence (OUI) or Driving Under the Influence (DUI), you are automatically going to be convicted of the crime. This assumption is based on the fact that the arrest was most likely due to the results of a roadside sobriety test. The person that was charged often believes they have no other choice but to plead guilty and acct their fate, even if they believe the charge was wrong. After all, who is going to question test results?
This is the absolute wrong approach to this situation, and the answer to that question is that everyone should question the test results. Recent data has shown that over 40 percent of all test results on a breathalyzer are incorrect when the test is performed accurately. The percentage of false-positives is even higher when the test was not performed to standards. Motions to suppress evidence are regularly used to attempt to exclude damaging evidence against you that may have been secured by some improper action of the arresting police department.
• Hire a OUI/DUI defense attorney immediately. You do not want to represent yourself before the Court for this type of proceeding. There is too much that can happen if you are convicted. A OUI/DUI defense attorney can protect your rights, question the Court, and use the law to your advantage.
• Understand that there are several defenses to these charges. Your defense attorney has the right to question the validity and accuracy of the test, challenge the chain-of-command of the test products, review arrest information and accompanying paperwork for inaccuracies, or present information to the Court showing that you were actually not under the influence of any substance.
• Stay away from social media. If you must post anything about being arrested or charged with a DUI or an OUI, keep your posting very simple and bland. Do not post anything that can be seen as an admission of guilt. The prosecuting attorney is going to look through your social media posts to find evidence to use against you in this case if necessary.
• Listen to your defense attorney. Your attorney will know the bet way to defend you during this process. It is very important that you follow what they say to have the most positive outcome to your case.
If You Are Convicted
If you are convicted of a DUI or an OUI, you can expect dramatic changes in your life. You will most likely lose your driving privileges for a period of time. You will have a large fine and court costs to pay. Most likely, you will also serve community service or probation; however incarceration is a possibility even for first-time offenders.
You can expect to find it much harder to purchase car insurance, and you must expect your premiums to be double what you are currently paying.
You may have trouble finding a new job once you have a conviction on your record, and your current employer may overlook you for promotions due to your record. Some apartment complexes will not rent to someone with a conviction on their record.
Although there are plenty more, these factors alone should be enough to cause you to reconsider getting on the road after a drink, and to seek aggressive and competent legal representation when you are facing an OUI or DUI charge.
Author and artist Molly Pearce is also a concerned motorist and mother of two. She often writes on the topics of addiction, the law, and human rights. The website of Massachusetts OUI lawyer Jack Diamond, http://www.jackdiamondlaw.com/, added valuable information to her research for this article.
Photo credits- http://www.flickr.com/photos/hyku/265600669/ , http://www.flickr.com/photos/oregondot/3675795084/ , http://www.flickr.com/photos/rusty_clark/8245771378/