Should I Just Plead Guilty to DUI

dui pleading guiltyYou may have just been arrested for DUI and are thinking to yourself, “yeah, I shouldn’t have been driving” and just want to get it over with by going to court and pleading guilty to the DUI. It’s embarrassing and a quick out seems attractive. However, you may be cheating yourself by doing this.

Consult with a DUI lawyer First

You owe it to yourself to consult with an attorney fluent in DUI law regarding the situation. A half hour consultation with a DUI attorney will allow you to weigh your options and understand the benefit of hiring a skilled attorney. A word of caution though: while much can be gained from a consultation, no attorney can completely assess your case after an initial consultation. Never hire an attorney that talks to you briefly and then guarantees a result. Investigation and research are key in any case. While there may be a silver bullet to win the case or little that could be done to avoid the conviction, these conclusions should only be reached after careful review and pursuit of all available legal options.

Many potential clients worry that fighting their case may actually make things worse and just want to plead guilty to DUI. However, the reliability of the system depends on those challenging it. When a DUI attorney gets involved in your case, they investigate the procedures used by the police in stopping you, the field sobriety tests, the BAC tests, and other factors. This is important for you and the State. Mistakes discovered by DUI attorneys in individual cases help to fix errors in the process. While they may help you avoid conviction in your individual case, they are learning tools for future cases for the State. Judges, prosecutors, and law enforcement actually appreciate when clients are represented by skilled attorneys because it strengthens the system.

DUI conviction where it can not be avoided

Even if a DUI conviction cannot be avoided in some manner, in most cases having an attorney can lessen the impact of a conviction by working toward minimum penalties. Add to this that having an experienced DUI attorney can help even further with knowledge of alternatives that most attorneys may never know of.

So, when a potential client asks me if it is worthwhile to hire an attorney for their DUI, I advise them that they should. Given the potential impact of a DUI conviction on the person’s life, it just makes sense. An attorney can make sure your rights are protected and that you understand what is happening throughout every stage of the DUI process.

Of course, if the consequences are no big deal to you, by all means, go to court and plead guilty to DUI. Research for yourself the consequences and punishments of an Ohio DUI and you will realize an attorney for your DUI is a necessary tool in understanding and defending your case.

A Highway Patrol or police officer is required by law to promptly forward a copy of the completed Notice of Suspension or Revocation form (DMV Form DS 367), along with a sworn report and the driver license confiscated from the alleged DUI driver to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The DMV automatically conducts an administrative review that includes an examination of the officer’s report, the suspension or revocation order, and any breath, blood, urine, or field sobriety test results. If the suspension or revocation is upheld by the DMV’s DUI specialist following the administrative review process, the driver will be entitled to a hearing before a DMV hearing officer to contest the suspension or revocation.

Do not forget to request DMV within 10 days

You have the right to request a hearing from the DMV within 10 days of receipt of the suspension or revocation order. If the review shows there is no basis for the suspension or revocation, the action will be set aside. Your attorney and/or you will be notified by the DMV in writing if the suspension or revocation is set aside following the review. Otherwise, a hearing will be scheduled by the DMV in person or by telephone. At the hearing, your attorney and/or you will be able to challenge the evidence giving rise to the driver’s license suspension. You will be notified by the DMV in writing only if the suspension or revocation is set aside following the administrative review.
The Order of Suspension or Revocation is a (pink) temporary driver’s license that allows you to drive for thirty (30) days from the date on which it was issued, provided you have been issued a valid driver’s license and your license is not expired, and your driving privilege not suspended or revoked for any other reason.

A driver issued an order of Suspension and Temporary license following an arrest by a police or Highway Patrol officer for driving under the influence (DUI) may drive for thirty (30) days from the date it was issued, provided the licensee’s driver license was not expired, suspended, or revoked for some reason other than the DUI arrest giving rise to the present Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) action.
Your driver’s license will be returned to you at the end of the suspension or revocation provided you pay a $125 reissue fee to the DMV and also file proof of financial responsibility. A person arrested for DUI will have their driver’s license returned prior to the end of any suspension if he or she applies for a restricted driver’s license prior to the completion of the suspension and is found eligible. If the DMV determines that there is not a basis for the suspension or revocation, your driver license will be issued or returned to you.

To obtain a restricted driver’s license, the licensee must enroll in an approved Driving Under the Influence (DUI) school, pay a $125 reissue fee to the DMV, and file proof of financial responsibility. Your insurance company can provide the required proof of financial responsibility. The DMV reissue fee is $100 if the driver was under age 21 and was suspended under the Zero Tolerance Law (no measurable amount of alcohol while driving), per Vehicle Code §§23136, 13353.1, 13388, 13392.)

Assuming your insurance company continues to insure you, you can expect to pay increased costs for your auto insurance and a fee for filing the SR-22 form with the DMV.
Getting pulled over can be one of the most stressful times in a person’s life, especially if the police officer expects you have been drinking. The penalties can be very extreme and the social stigma of drinking and driving has never been more negative. The best way to avoid it all is to never get behind the wheel of a car after drinking alcohol.

This is a guide for those who do.

First, never try to resist arrest or argue with an officer. It can only make things worse and give the police officer ammunition to use against you or charge you with. When you get pulled over make sure to also stay seated in the car until the officer tells you otherwise.

If the officer suspects you are driving under the influence he may ask you to do a number of things. Most commonly, the police officer will ask you to take a PBT or Preliminary Breathalyzer Test. This is where a driver must blow into a portable device to determine the BAC or Blood Alcohol Content of the driver. In most states, a driver can refuse this test and not violate the law of refusal wherein a driver’s license gets suspended for a set period of time. Often the test cannot be used in courts due to its unreliability.

The officer may also ask that you take a field sobriety test. The officer will test your motor skills in a series of tests, such as walking a straight line. This test can also be refused without counting as an act of violation in most states. Usually as this point the officer has already made up his mind to arrest the driver and is looking for additional evidence to capture on video to collaborate with his testimony.

After this point, if you have taken and failed either test or refused an officer will probably arrest you. As soon as you are brought to take to the station you will be asked to take an official test to determine your BAC. A refusal of this test will count as an act of refusal, so make sure to carefully consider state and local law before you make this decision.

To find out more about local and state DUI laws, call us.