Top Five Things to Do If You are Arrested For DUI
The Bussey Law Firm PC is a longtime top law firm in Colorado with great experience in defending those accused of driving under the influence. We are often asked, what can I do after I’ve been arrested for a DUI. Let’s go through what might be the top five things that you can do if you have been arrested for DUI:
- You have a right to remain silent. This one is really important. Just as you’ve always heard on television, “Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.” The words you speak outside of court are admissible as evidence against you in court. Remember, even small admissions such as, “Yes, I was driving,” can make a prosecutor’s case much easier to prove. Without your statements, the prosecutor needs to find alternative ways to prove every elemental fact. With your statements, it’s easy as can be. To avoid unwanted questioning from a law enforcement officer, and to avoid making inadvertent statements, simply reply to an officer by saying, “No statements without assistance of counsel, thank you.” Your polite invocation of the right to counsel in this way is like a legal shield. A law enforcement officer at that point is required to stop asking questions or making statements that could prompt you to incriminate yourself. Do not be fooled into thinking friendly conversation on unrelated topics is safe. These conversations have a way of spilling into further conversation about the driving incident. If you are in contact with a law enforcement officer after a DUI arrest, it is never social. They are never thinking about anything except how to prove your guilt.Also remember that your statements to friends or family could be used against you as evidence, if a law enforcement officer learns of the statements. It is better just not to discuss the case with anyone except your attorney or members of your attorney’s staff. Keep in mind that you might even be more innocent than you at first realize. Full analysis of your case takes time and detachment from the emotions that are running at the time of the arrest.
- Speaking of your attorney and your attorney’s staff. After a DUI arrest, there are few investments of time better than consulting with an attorney who has experience in defending such cases. The consequences of a DUI conviction are greater and more far reaching than ever. DUI’s can impact your employment, your driver’s license privileges, and cause you to face criminal consequences which can include a permanent conviction on your record, jail time, probation, alcohol classes, community services and expensive fines and fees. The Bussey Law Firm PC has years of experience successfully defending those accused of DUI. The firm has been responsible for impacting the law in ways that include testifying before committees in the Colorado legislature and litigating DUI issues in trial and appellate courts. The Bussey Law Firm’s active and diligent litigation has influenced investigations of state agencies and been noticed as far as the U.S. Supreme Court, where the firm’s litigation was cited by Justice Ginsburg in Bullcoming v. New Mexico, 564 U.S. 647 (2011). In Bullcoming, the Court was asked to reduce or eliminate the right to cross-examine forensic scientists who have performed chemical BAC analysis of the kind used regularly in DUI cases. The government argued that its administrative procedures are so routine and reliable that permitting the accused to cross-examine laboratory analysts in ordinary cases should no longer be required. Yet after the Bussey Law Firm had been active in helping to expose flawed laboratory testing procedures that affected over 200 Colorado cases, Justice Ginsburg wrote for the majority and cited the Colorado investigation as perhaps the best reason for rejecting the government’s self-serving claim of administrative excellence. The Bussey Law Firm is proud to represent the accused and would be pleased to discuss your case.
- Preserve any evidence. It is important to preserve any evidence that may assist in the defense of your case. This includes securing receipts from any bar or restaurant you may have been in prior to the arrest, preparing a list of any witnesses and their contact information, obtaining any medical records to include records of any conditions that may impact the investigation or injuries obtained in an accident, taking photos of where the incident occurred and saving any phone records which may assist in developing a timeline. It would also be a good idea to keep a journal or notebook preserving your recollection of what happened. Often the act of writing promotes insight and remembrance of details that would be otherwise forgotten.
- Develop a case for mitigation and rehabilitation. In the vast majority of cases the accused will plead not guilty and prepare for trial. Yet the question of guilt or innocence is just one of the major considerations. Another concerns the fitness of the defendant for affordable bail or a light sentence or sentencing terms that permit things like driving or work release. An attorney can consult with you about things you may do to proactively mitigate your case long before trial. This may include perhaps starting community service, alcohol education classes and therapy and a MADD victim impact program. It is beneficial to begin these steps early. A lawyer can discuss your progress with the prosecutor in confidential fashion, without risk to your trial defense.
- Cooperate with your attorney and continue on with your life. It is important to stay in contact with your attorney. Keep your lawyer advised of evidence that you may have and your progress in completing alcohol education, alcohol therapy, community service, MADD victim impact program and any notifications you receive from the DMV. DUI cases can take many months to resolve. The stress and emotional challenges should not be overlooked. Try and enjoy each day and those things that you love such as hiking, biking, physical exercise and creative activities such as music and art. Strengthen connections with family and friends.
Contact the Bussey Law Firm PC for your Driving Under the Influence defense. The Bussey Law Firm PC is a nationally recognized law firm defending Driving Under the Influence charges. Mr. Bussey is a national speaker at DUI seminars, a nationally published author, a contributor to the Colorado DUI Benchbook, a former Board of Directors for DUIDLA (DUI Defense Lawyers Association), a sustaining member of the NCDD (National College of DUI Defense Attorneys). Other credentials may be viewed at www.thebusseylawfirm.com.