DUI charges are some of the most misunderstood criminal offenses. Whether a misunderstanding involves misconceptions about field sobriety tests or how BAC is measured, many individuals simply aren't as informed as they should be when facing such charges. That is why our team is here to help make sure you fully understand your rights and how to respond in such situations. The more you understand about DUI, the better you will be able to navigate a traffic stop or accusations from police officers.
Read through some of the most common myths below to get informed today!
DUI is just another traffic offense.
DUI is a very serious criminal charge, particularly if you have been convicted of one or more in the past, or if your charge involves aggravating circumstances. While this crime does occur on the road, it is not nearly as light as a speeding ticket. A conviction could bring severe penalties such as jail time, steep fines, and driver's license suspension. None of these consequences should be taken lightly, as they can impact multiple areas of your life. Even a simple license suspension could cause you serious difficulty for months following a conviction.
The results of my field sobriety test will exonerate me.
As opposed to a chemical test, you are not required to take field sobriety tests. In most cases, it is better to politely refuse when asked by police, rather than complying and attempting to prove your innocence. Why? These tests may seem simple enough, but they are very subjective and really only function as a means of building evidence against you, rather than in your favor.
I can't be arrested for refusing to take a breath test.
In reality, you will probably be arrested for refusing to take a test, as it gives the officer reasonable cause to suspect you of DUI. While you have the right to abstain from taking the test, this gives the police the right to arrest you and you will likely face additional penalties for a refusal, including license suspension.
All breathalyzer machines are accurate.
A breath test machine can give an erroneous reading for a number of reasons. Mouth alcohol, acetone, radio frequency interference, certain solvent and chemicals, mouth wash, and asthma inhalers can all disrupt the accuracy of breath test machines. Even without such interference, these machines must be carefully recalibrated and maintained over time. In many cases, this maintenance and upkeep does not occur, which could essentially invalidate any test results.
I don't need a lawyer.
This is one of the most common misconceptions, and it can also be one of the most costly. Even if you believe there's nothing you can do, an experienced lawyer can review your case, evaluate the evidence against you, and help you work toward dismissing or reducing the charges and penalties you face. As legal professionals who have represented numerous clients charged for DUI, we've seen a variety of situations and are familiar with the types of errors law enforcement makes that can result in case dismissals. When facing serious penalties, you should allow an attorney to protect your rights and your future.
Have more questions about DUI? Do not hesitate to contact an attorney from The Law Offices of Howard J. Weintraub, P.C. today.