What to do if you get a drunk driving or DUI/OVI charge in Richland County, Ohio.
Any drunk driving charge can bring serious consequences. A person that’s convicted of drunk driving may spend time in jail, face a driver’s license suspension, higher insurance rates, probation and other penalties. The fallout can include difficulty finding work and restrictions on international travel. Here are things that a person facing a drunk driving charge should do to defend themselves and protect their interests:
Write Down What They Remember
The first thing that an attorney wants to do when they meet with a new drunk driving client is hear the client’s version of the story. Something that they think isn’t important might be critical to the defense. It’s important for the arrested person to write down the series of events from their perspective so that the attorney can review it to see if there are hidden defenses.
Remember Their Rights
A person accused of drunk driving has rights. They’re innocent until proven guilty. The state wants people to plead guilty to save them from having to do the work of proving the case. But a person that’s charged with drunk driving has a right to a trial. They can also request a pretrial conference. Exerting these rights can help an accused person receive a favorable plea offer or receive a complete dismissal of the charges against them.
Learn About the Charge
An important step in a drunk driving defense is learning about the charges. It’s important to read up on the laws that apply to the case. For example, taking a breath test that results in a number over .08 doesn’t necessarily mean the person accused is guilty of drunk driving. Learning how field sobriety tests work can help the person and their attorney identify where law enforcement made errors.
It’s also important to learn about the potential consequences. Learning about the case can help the accused person identify possible defenses. It also helps them prioritize what they want to accomplish from the case and what they need to do to achieve a result that works for them. The length of a license suspension might vary based on the specific conviction. Jail time may be different for different convictions as well. Knowing these things can help the accused decide what they need to defend against the most.
Don’t Talk Too Much
When a person faces a drunk driving charge, it’s important that they exercise their right to remain silent. What an accused person says to others about the case is usually admissible in court. The person accused shouldn’t talk to the state’s attorney, and they also shouldn’t talk to their friends about the case either. Instead, they should save the talking for their attorney.
Hire a Qualified Defense Attorney
It’s not overstating it to say that the consequences of a drunk driving conviction can last for a lifetime. However, sometimes the police make mistakes. They might make errors in their investigation, or they might arrest an innocent person. An experienced defense attorney has experience identifying these errors. Our Attorneys at Spaulding & Kitzler are very knowledgeable and can help an accused person determine what defenses may be available to them. This can allow the person to achieve to best possible result and move on with their life.