From the moment you get pulled over for a DUI, you have precious little time to make arrangements before you go to court. One of your first steps should and needs to be finding a good DUI attorney to help you navigate the potential pitfalls of the legal system that could land you in a world of trouble. For most people, hiring a lawyer can be almost as scary as having to go to court.
Most people only ever have a minor brush or two with the law, typically when their younger so having to find legal counsel can be overwhelming. Once you find an attorney, what do you tell them? What do you leave out? Here are some things your attorney needs to know in order to help your DUI case.
Knowledge is power. The more your lawyer knows about your case, the better off you’ll be. Everything from how you were pulled over, whether it was from the officer thinking you were driving erratically by weaving or driving to slow, or if it was a sobriety checkpoint. Other important details to include are things such as if you were required to take a field sobriety test, if so which ones. Let your lawyer know if there were any breathalyzer or other chemical tests.
The more details your lawyer has, the less things that can come as a surprise later in court. Other important factors are what you were doing prior to being pulled over, as well as physical factors such as being sick which could lead the arresting officer to believe that you were intoxicated. Other things such as having a professional license (CDL, Security clearance, etc) should be discussed with your lawyer, as being allowed to keep them might be allowed as part of the bargaining process.
While this might seem obvious, there are a lot of people who are afraid to speak the truth to their lawyer. The fact of the matter is, misleading or omitting details means you and your lawyer run the risk of mishandling your case which means you could be convicted of a DUI instead of being found innocent. Let your lawyer know if you’ve had any past trouble with the law, as this can have an impact on how they create their legal strategy. The more your lawyer has to work with, the better prepared they’ll be. The better prepared your lawyer is, the better the outcome of your case will be.
When your lawyer has to try and glean all of the facts about your case from a police report, they’re only getting a very one sided look at everything. There are plenty of little details that you can share that will give your lawyer an advantage in your case. If you think it’s important to your case, then chance are good that it is.
By working with your lawyer and providing all of the information you’re able, you can help increase your chances of being found innocent, being acquitted or as otherwise free from the life altering penalties that a DUI conviction can impose upon your life.
+Andrew is one of the leading DUI and criminal defense attorneys in both the state of Maryland and the District of Columbia. He blogs about Maryland DUI law, has numerous videos on the subject and has been asked to appear on national television to offer his legal opinion on high-profile criminal cases.