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10 Common Mistakes Made in DUI Cases

Close-up. Arrested man handcuffed hands at the backJust because you are facing a DUI charge does not mean you are guilty yet, or that the prosecution can prove it.  It does not it mean you will automatically face extreme fines and penalties. In order to give yourself the best chance for success, it’s important to know the dos and don’ts of being charged with DUI.

My name is Jon Bryant Artz, and I have been one of the top Los Angeles DUI attorneys for 47 years. During this time, I have seen people make every mistake imaginable when it comes to their cases. I wrote this guide to make sure you avoid them.

In this guide, we will help you understand 10 Common Mistakes to Avoid if you have been charged with a DUI in California.

10 Common Mistakes Made in California DUI Cases

Avoiding each of these mistakes will greatly improve your chances of reducing or avoiding your charges.

1. Not Working With An Attorney

This is not a time to represent yourself using the skills you think you’ve acquired watching Law and Order. If you don’t work with an attorney you run the risk of higher fines, more severe penalties, and a DUI mark on your record. A lot of people think they are “saving themselves money” by not working with a defense attorney, and in some cases they are right. But, try getting that promotion with a conviction, or getting to work without a license.

2. Choosing the Wrong Attorney

Just because a public defender is free doesn’t mean you should work with them. Hiring the wrong attorney can be just as detrimental to you as not hiring one. If you work with an attorney who doesn’t have experience with DUI cases in particular, or one who is a public defender and overwhelmed with other cases, they won’t have the time or the experience to dedicate to your case which means they might overlook a legal loophole or miss a critical mistake made by the police.

3. Admitting Guilt at the Scene of the Crime

If you admitted guilt at the scene of the crime, it will make it more difficult to defend the case. The best thing a DUI suspect can do is not admit anything one way or the other and simply ask for an attorney.

4. Admitting to Drinking

One common mistake made by most people is to answer the question, “Have you been drinking tonight?” A better response is “I want a lawyer.” People who have been drinking might think it is better to admit to the police that they only had one or two beers. People tend to think that it will work in their favor to admit that they had one glass of wine with dinner a few hours ago. But this is only likely to hurt your case.  They smell the odor of alcohol and Field Sobriety Tests are going to follow.

5. Pleading Guilty Without Attacking the Prosecutor’s Case

Do not plead guilty until your experienced attorney has evaluated the case and provided reasons why the prosecutor should reduce the charges.

6. Being Unruly or Disrespectful to Officers

Just because an officer has pulled you over and you do not have the right to be unruly or disrespectful. Any bad behavior you exhibited will work against you.

7. Not Taking the Charge Seriously

This is a serious charge and you have to take it seriously. Don’t make the mistake of ignoring it or thinking it will go away on its own. Make sure you hire an attorney immediately so that you can start preparing a defense and fight the DMV suspension.

8. Refusing a BAC Test

Yes, you have a legal right to refuse a BAC test and suffer probable driver’s license suspension, but it will work in your favor more if you “submit to a blood test.  Don’t agree.  Just submit because you have to.

9. Not Appearing in Court

You should absolutely appear in court. A non-appearance will cause a bench warrrant to issue, and

10. Assuming You Are Guilty

Just because a chemical test came back at .08% or higher doesn’t mean that you are guilty. If you have a feeling that you aren’t guilty, you know that you only had one glass of wine with dinner 3 hours before you got on the road, don’t assume that you were guilty. There are plenty of mistakes made during DUI checkpoints, field sobriety tests, and cases overall so don’t give up hope.  There are other defenses including contamination and rising blood alcohol.

Avoid These Mistakes – Work With A Top DUI Attorney

If you have been convicted of a DUI in California and have made any of these mistakes, don’t worry, there may still be hope for your case. But, you need to act quickly, take your charges seriously, and work with a skilled attorney that specializes in DUI if you want to reduce your charges moving forward.

With more than 40 years of experience, I am confident that I have the skills, education, and work history to be able to help you with your DUI case in Los Angeles. Give me a call to set up a free case evaluation, where I will talk to you one on one to learn more about your case, help you figure out the next steps, and get started working on your case to get your charges reduced or dropped.

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