Dealing with the aftermath of a DUI charge can be stressful. You're concerned about possible fines, losing your license, and you're trying to figure out how to handle your upcoming day in court.
You've found a great DUI lawyer, but you've never had to get legal help and you don't know what to expect. Your lawyer is going to be asking you a lot of questions and you need to be prepared to answer them. Luckily for you, we know exactly what you need to do.
If you want to know what questions to anticipate when you talk to your lawyer, here is a short list of the most likely questions you will receive.
What Did You Do Before the Arrest?
Knowing what you were doing before you were pulled over is very important to your lawyer and may even be able to help your case. This is why it's important to give your lawyer a full rundown of what you were doing before you were charged.
Be sure to mention if there were any driving maneuvers that may have led to the stop. Maybe you had to quickly swerve to avoid a pothole or may have been distracted by someone else on the road.
Take some time to write down everything you remember leading up to the incident before you speak with your lawyer. Writing things down can make it easier to remember things and can help make sure that you keep your story straight.
Are There Any Witnesses?
If you had any passengers or witnesses that can verify your statement of events be sure to tell your lawyer.
He said/she said court cases can be difficult to deal with, and police officers have the law on their side. Having a witness that can prove your side of the story can help you build a solid defense.
Were You Drinking?
Your lawyer needs to know how much you drank in order to properly put together your case and challenge claims the prosecution makes.
Regardless of if you were drinking or not, the answer to this question is very important. We want to point out that drinking alcohol is not an admission of guilt. It's possible to have a drink or two and be below the legal limit.
We'll stress again how important honesty is when you talk to your lawyer. If the prosecution can prove that you had five drinks when you claimed you only had one, you'll risk severely hurting your case.
What Was Your Interaction with the Officer Like?
When people deal with legal matters, they spend a lot of time focusing on what they've personally done. The truth is that the way other people behaved is just as important as your own actions.
Take time to think about what interacting with the officer was like. Did they have a stern but polite demeanor, or did they seem confrontational? Did they mention why they pulled you over? Were you read your rights?
If you don't remember everything that happened, don't worry. There might be body camera evidence that can help. It also isn't uncommon to forget certain details in times of stress, so nobody will find it suspicious if you don't remember much of the interaction.
What Did You Tell the Officer?
Police officers can do a very good job of getting people to talk during a traffic stop or arrest. You may have thought that you were giving them important information, but you may have accidentally implicated yourself in a crime.
When you're dealing with the police, it's better to stay as silent as possible and wait for a lawyer. You can answer questions when you're spoken to but giving additional information may incriminate you.
Do you remember telling the officer that you were drinking? Did you lie about certain things, like where you were, where you were going, or why you were out? Did you ask the officer to be lenient, or tell them personal details about your life in hopes of getting them to be less harsh?
Be honest with your lawyer if you're concerned about possibly implicating yourself. The more information you give them the more helpful the lawyer can be.
Is This Your First Offense?
Tell your lawyer about your criminal history and any minor issues you may have run into like parking or speeding tickets. Be sure to mention past charges even if they aren't related to DUIs.
DUI charges can cause a lot of problems for people, but it isn't uncommon for judges to be lenient with first-time offenders. Although your past actions may not be tied to your current DUI charge, some judges will use past legal issues against you.
Did You Take a Field Sobriety Test?
Did the officer ask you to recite the alphabet, answer trick questions, or pick up coins during the stop? If so, you were given a field sobriety test.
Right now, there are three sobriety tests that are approved by the federal government for police to use: the one-leg stand, walk and turn, and horizontal gaze nystagmus. Every state has different requirements around field sobriety tests, and as of now, the state of Illinois does not require that these tests are given during a stop.
Despite these tests not being required, refusing to take them may hurt your case. Some prosecutors may argue that your refusal is evidence of guilt.
Find Your DUI Lawyer Today
Regardless of what questions your DUI lawyer asks you, honesty is always the best policy. If you're truthful when you answer questions and take time to put together your version of events, you'll be well on your way to having a positive experience with your lawyer.
Now that you know what to questions to expect, it's time to find the right lawyer to represent you in court.
Whether you're facing DUI charges, or have questions about DUIs and other legal issues, we're here for you. Take time to contact us today so we can discuss the best way to help you.