I was just arrested. What should I do? Do I really need an attorney?
Remain silent. Do not speak to the police. Exercise your Fifth Amendment right to remain silent. No matter what a police officer promises or possibly threatens you with, you are never required to speak to them.
Next, you should immediately contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you understand the law, investigate your case, determine your options, formulate a defense, help you navigate the criminal justice process, and protect your rights.
There is great danger in not having professional advice from someone with specific knowledge, experience, and expertise to protect you and to ensure the best possible outcome. Only an experienced criminal defense attorney intimately familiar with criminal law, the justice system, the Rules of Court, and the Rules of Evidence can provide you with meaningful advice, answers, and guidance. The practice of criminal defense law consists of thorough legal research, factual investigation, as well as diplomatic and skillful negotiation with the prosecution.
Can I get the charges against me reduced or dropped?
In many cases, you can. This is where an experienced and knowledgeable defense attorney's skills come into play. Before you make any decisions about whether or not to accept any type of plea offer by the prosecution, you should have an experienced criminal defense attorney thoroughly investigate the particular facts and circumstances of your case. Your attorney can utilize the fruits of a successful investigation as bargaining chips to negotiate with the prosecutor for either a reduction or dismissal of the charges against you.
Shouldn't I just plead guilty to DUI if my breath/blood alcohol test results were over the legal limit?
No. High BAC test results are often completely irrelevant in formulating a winning defense. For example, if the officer violates your Constitutional rights by stopping your vehicle without legally sufficient cause, the court is required to suppress all evidence seized subsequent to the stop, including the blood or breath test results. Furthermore, there may have been one or more errors during the chemical testing process that can only be uncovered after carefully investigating and analyzing the testing protocol and scientific results with a toxicologist or criminalist experienced in handling DUI cases. Alcohol testing is not always accurate. Procedural errors, faulty or improperly maintained equipment, improper testing methods are always a possibility in a DUI case. If you simply plead guilty based on the test results alone, you may be giving up your opportunity for a dismissal or reduction of the charges against you. This is precisely why you need an experienced criminal defense attorney to investigate your case and provide you with the best advice given the particular facts in your case.