If you ever find yourself under arrest for a DWI in the Brooklyn area, you might want to be cautious about the steps you take immediately afterward. Regardless of the evidence law enforcement may have against you, your actions play a role in the outcome of your case.
Navigating the criminal justice system when facing a DWI is not easy, but it is not impossible. Here are a few mistakes to avoid when dealing with a drunk driving charge.
1. Thinking law enforcement on your side
Law enforcement uses a variety of tactics to gather evidence to substantiate the arrests and charges. One strategy is acting as if they are on your side when they are trying to encourage you to make self-incriminating statements. You do not have to carry on a conversation with law enforcement. To keep from potentially incriminating yourself, invoke your right to have a lawyer present for questioning. Until you speak to a lawyer, stay silent.
2. Not taking the charges seriously
Drunk driving is a serious crime. Unfortunately, many people do not realize that DWI charges do not just disappear. Most first-time convictions are misdemeanor level offenses. The penalties include a possible jail sentence of up to 15 days, suspension of your driver’s license, fines and a criminal record. Keep in mind some factors make certain misdemeanor DWI offenses felonies. Also, repeat offenders face stiffer penalties.
3. Not getting legal help
Many people forgo working with a private DWI lawyer because they believe they can handle their circumstances on their own. They do not realize the benefits. Public court defenders are overworked, and you do not want to take chances that you will not receive fair representation. Not getting proper legal representation for any criminal law matter can hurt your case. At the very least, an attorney can review your situation, evaluate the evidence and put together a defense that protects your rights and criminal record.