What Actions Can You Take To Help Your Criminal Case?
Before talking to an attorney, is it important for people to journal the details of their DUI case?
When people call me the morning after they are arrested for DUI, I tell them it is important to act quickly. This is because, over time, evidence disappears. Over time, memories get faulty.
Before they even see me, I always tell people, “Write it down. Just write down bullet points about the timeline.” What happened? What happened regarding your interaction with the police officer? Note any comments the police officer made to you. A lot of times, that is helpful.
I always tell people definitely write down whatever they can remember because you never know what is going to help you. If the case does go to trial, you never know, initially, what is important. These are things you figure out after you see the evidence; after you get discovery and see what the other side has.
Common Mistakes People Make That Hurt Their Ability to Defend Their Case?
You do not want to be uncooperative with the police officer when you are being pulled over. However, the biggest mistake I have seen clients make is they offer too much information to the police officer. They confess something.
Maybe the police do not have a great case. Maybe they did not see you driving, and you admitted that you drove. Perhaps you confess to something that maybe you should not have.
As far as taking field sobriety tests, the typical test calls for you to walk a straight line, or touch your nose and recite the alphabet. You can politely say to the officer, “No, thank you.” You are not required to take field tests in Pennsylvania.
You are required though to take the blood test or the breath test. If you do not, then you wind up losing your license for one year. This is one year for not taking the test, on top of what you would lose it for the DUI.
So, it is always good to take the test. However, you do not want to offer up too much information to the police officer if you can help it.