The Dos and Don’ts After Being Arrested for a DUI/OWI
If you have been arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) or operating while intoxicated (OWI) in Wisconsin, it’s critically important to understand the correct actions to take—and those to avoid—if such an unfortunate incident occurs.
This article will serve as your comprehensive guide to the dos and don’ts after being arrested for drunk driving, providing crucial insights to help you protect your rights, minimize potential legal implications, and navigate with clarity. This article will also cover why getting a criminal defense attorney on your side is crucial while dealing with an arrest.
- Do Remain Calm
- Do Contact a DUI/OWI Attorney ASAP
- Do Get the Facts About Your Case
- Do Understand the Possible Consequences
- Don’t Say Anything You Don’t Have To
- Don’t Break the Conditions of Your Release
- Don’t Make Any Plea Deals Without Consulting Your Attorney
- Don’t Wait & Find an OWI Attorney Today
Do’s After Being Arrested for a DUI/OWI
1. Remain Calm
One of the most critical things to do after being arrested for a DUI/OWI is to remain calm. This might seem difficult in the face of such a stressful situation, but it’s crucial to maintaining control over the situation.
Panic and anxiety can lead to poor decision making and potentially escalate the situation. By staying calm, you’re not only helping yourself but also ensuring that you’re in a better position to interact effectively with law enforcement.
Remember, your actions and words from this point on can impact your case. So, take deep breaths, keep your emotions in check, and approach the situation with a clear and composed mind.
2. Contact a DUI/OWI Attorney ASAP
One of the first steps you should take after being arrested for a DUI/OWI is to contact an experienced attorney. Then ask to talk to your lawyer as soon as possible. It’s important to be cooperative and polite with law enforcement during your arrest and to not answer any questions or make statements without your attorney present.
A skilled criminal defense lawyer can represent you in court, ensuring your rights are protected throughout the process. They can guide you through the complexities of the law, and help you understand the potential penalties you might face. They will also help you craft a solid DUI/OWI defense strategy.
3. Get the Facts About Your Case
After being arrested for a DUI/OWI, it’s essential to gather all the facts about your case. This involves understanding the “who, when, what, where, and why” of the incident. Collecting accurate information is crucial to building a strong defense strategy with your DUI attorney.
Begin by drafting a chronology of events and identifying all potential claims. The facts you present should be legally significant and relevant to your case. By getting the facts straight, you will be better prepared to work with your OWI attorney to build a strong defense.
4. Understand the Possible Consequences
Depending on the circumstances of your arrest and any prior convictions that may exist, a DUI/OWI conviction can carry serious consequences such as:
- Jail time or probation.
- Fines or court costs.
- Suspension of your driver’s license.
- Installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) in your vehicle.
- Mandatory participation in alcohol and/or drug treatment programs.
- Points on your driving record, which can lead to higher insurance premiums or a revocation of your right to drive.
Understanding the possible consequences you are facing will help you and your lawyer understand the severity of your case, including the best possible chances of reducing these penalties.
Don’ts After Being Arrested for a DUI/OWI
5. Don’t Say Anything You Don’t Have To
One of the most important things to remember when you’re arrested for a DUI/OWI is not to say anything you don’t have to. The stress and anxiety of the situation can often lead individuals to speak more than necessary, potentially incriminating themselves in the process.
Remember, you have the right to remain silent, and it’s smart to exercise this right until you have legal representation present. Anything you say can and will be used against you in court, so it’s essential to limit your communication with law enforcement to basic information.
Don’t attempt to negotiate or argue with the police; instead, politely state that you wish to speak with an attorney before answering any further questions.
6. Don’t Break the Conditions of Your Release
After being arrested for a DUI/OWI, it’s imperative that you do not break the conditions of your release. When you’re released from custody, there will be specific terms you must abide by, such as revoked driving privileges or only being able to drive for work purposes to certain areas during certain hours of the day.
Failing to adhere to these conditions can result in immediate arrest and potential additional charges. It could also negatively influence your case, making it harder to negotiate plea deals or receive lenient sentencing.
If you’re unsure about any of the conditions of your release, clarify with your DUI lawyer to ensure you fully understand and can comply with them.
7. Don’t Make Any Plea Deals Without Consulting Your Attorney
A significant “don’t” after a DUI/OWI arrest is to avoid making any plea deals without consulting your attorney. A plea deal, an agreement typically proposed by the prosecution where the defendant pleads guilty to a lesser charge, may seem like a straightforward path to resolving your case. However, accepting such a deal without legal advice can lead to unforeseen consequences.
An experienced OWI lawyer can help you understand the implications of a plea deal, including potential sentencing and effects on your record. They can also negotiate better terms or even advise against taking the deal if they believe it’s not in your best interest.
8. Don’t Wait & Find An OWI Attorney Today
Navigating a DUI/OWI case can be difficult and the penalties for a conviction can be serious. That is why it is important to follow these dos and don’ts and hire an experienced criminal defense attorney right away.
For an expert Milwaukee OWI attorney, reach out to Fenton Law Office. Fenton Law Office will support you every step of the way. With years of experience handling drunk driving cases, Fenton Law will fight for your rights. Call today for a free consultation.
By Attorney Jay Fenton, Owner of Fenton Law Office
Jay Fenton is a top-rated criminal defense attorney in Milwaukee who goes above and beyond for his clients. He has successfully secured favorable outcomes in countless cases, from negotiating plea agreements to filing pre-trial motions and managing complex appeals. Attorney Fenton also has had tremendous success achieving not-guilty verdicts at trial. His dedication and aggressiveness make him one of the best attorneys around.